Ohio – 6.28.2018

It is 7:38 on Thursday morning at the end of June.  I’m sitting at Stauf’s Cafe in Grandview enjoying the cool morning air and people watching.  The people watching is interesting because there is a difference between the population here and that of San Francisco; it has been a long time since I’ve seen Ohio people.

The week has been a blur and here we are, already into Thursday and the end of my time here in Ohio.  When thinking of my Ohio trip in San Francisco I thought I’d have well laid plans, plenty of time and do a large number of activities.  Instead, things have popped up and my schedule filled rather quickly.

During the first part of the week I was able to make it out to Wilson Road on Monday and Tuesday morning before sunrise.  On my first time out and on the first hole I got a birdie.  that first day I ended up with three birdies and a 34 which is just 4 over par.  Playing Wilson is always a very special and downright ‘spiritual’ experience for me.  I’ve written an extensive post on this so will just link it here instead of rehashing.

Memories of Raymond Memorial and Wilson Road Golf Courses

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Ohio – 6.24.2018

I’m at Stauf’s cafe on a quiet Sunday morning and have had my mocha can chocolate chip scone. I like getting here early while the sun is just rising over the houses across the road and the weather is cool. I arrived at 7:58 and wondered why everyone was just standing around. It turns out that Stauf’s doesn’t open until 8:00 on Sunday.

To get here I rode the 1950’s style blue framed bike which always gets me a lot of looks and even a couple of nods if not smiles. It is a great mode of transportation around Pleasantville otherwise known as Grandview.

As I type this I can feel the heat from the sun and know it will be a nice day. I’m here by myself because Dad whent to referee a softball game and Mom to church. They’ll be back a little later and I think we’re all going to the Grandview pool which will be nice. After I finish up this post I think I’ll ride over to Trinity School, my old house on Meadow road and then up 1st Ave.

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Ohio – 6.23.2018

It has been a small adventure so far.

I hailed a Lyft but forgot it is Pride in SF today so the first couple of drivers cancelled on me and there were none around in Pacifica. Finally Flavio came but drove right past me. I called him and he turned around. It was apparent he was new because he wanted to head the long way down Crespi (I told him to turn around and take Fassler) and then he almost missed the exit for Daly City. I let him know but other drivers were being jerks and not letting him over and honking their horns. I asked if he spoke Spanish and he did but it was apparent his first language was Portugese.

I made it onto BART and had to remind myself of which train to take so I didn’t have to transfer. On the way to SF some Drag Queen decided to make some drama, held open the train door and wouldn’t let it close. That earned her a shout over the intercom from the driver. It was the next carriage over and it looks like she was having some words with someone who just boarded the train. I saw a few passengers talk to her and finally she left before the cops showed up.

The next issue on the BART was there was this otherwise athletic looking, even a bit handsome Indian guy, except for the fact that he kept picking his nose and putting it in his mouth. That was absolutely disgusting and must have been some sort of mental tic for him as he kept doing it over and over.

Upon arrving at the Coliseum station I first saw what looked like a Blood gang member (wearing all red) and made sure not to make eye contact and let him pass. Then I saw what was definitely a Crip due to his blue clothes trailing the Blood. I made sure to pick up the pace and make it to the airport skytrain.

I arrived at Oakland and looked for the curbside checkin. It didn’t look too busy and so I took my spot in line. After a few minutes a couple asked me if this was the line for curbside and I said yes. In a true Christmas Story department store Santa moment the attendant looked up and said “this isn’t the line, the line is over there!” I looked back and it was a mile long so I just proceeded inside. I had a moment of panic since the airport was absolutely packed and the busiest I’ve ever seen it. I had to use my airport smarts because the line was two miles long for the checkin. I saw that the self check in wasn’t busy but since I was non-revenue I wondered if I could still tag my own bag at the machine. It turned out I could but then didn’t know where to go. I asked an employee and they just said “over there” which was back where the two mile long line was. There was much confusion because people just dropping off bags were lining up for the general checkin. I asked another attendant and it turned out the self tag bag drop line was very short.

I waited in line and an attendant offered to help. He was very stressed and saw my carryon without a tag and said, “No, I cannot help you, you have to go to the machine first.” He didn’t hear that I was explaining I just needed to drop off the golf clubs which were already tagged. He realized it and helped me out.

Then I went to security and the line was also very long there. I noticed that the express line sign mentioned employees so a quick flash of my badge and I was in. Boy does that badge come in useful!

The final hurdle was hoping I would get on the flight and a previous check last night seemed that I would but since the airport is so busy I was a bit nervous. I found the gate to Columbus and there was an agent already at the gate. I introduced myself, showed my badge and mentioned that I believe I was the only one on standby. That was correct and I got my boarding pass straight away! Again I was a bit nervous because if I didn’t get on my golf clubs would still go, I’d have to see if there was any possible way to get to Columbus today and if not, hike it back to Pacifica and try again tomorrow!

The cost from Pacifica to Oakland Airport was about $10 for the Lyft and then another $10 for the BART to Oakland, not too bad.

So now I’m just sitting here at the gate ready for the adventure to continue.

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Journal Entry 12.18.2016

It is 3:24 AM.  It is a chilly 39 degrees outside and although there is a beautiful waning gibbous moon it remains very dark on the ground.  When I step outside to look at the stars I see Orion, faithfully in the southern hemisphere confirming that it is the latter half of the year.

There is a quiet stillness to the very early morning that most will never experience.  It is a time when one can be alone with themselves and their thoughts without the innumerable distractions that come when everyone and everything awakes.

I go to bed at 8:00 PM, wake up in the middle of the night and then often go back to bed for a few more hours.  I’ve learned that this may be the most natural pattern – The myth of the eight-hour sleep.

“Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning.” Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)

Along with the chilly temperature the only other thing that could make this moment better is if there was freshly fallen snow on the ground, softly illuminated by the light of the moon.  That is a magical landscape that is also reserved only for those who awake in the middle of the night.  Sometimes the moonlight is so strong that the reflection off the snow illuminates the outside almost as clearly as day in a soft pale glow.  It is this scene, nestled away in childhood memories, that make me miss Ohio around this time of year.  It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without snow and frigid temperatures.

This reminds me of the coldest December I’ve ever experienced.  I had a 7:30 AM calculus class at Ohio State and to make it on time would have to be up by at least 5:30.  Sometimes the temperature would be so cold that my car would not start and I had to resort to this contraption you’d stick in the oil to keep the engine warm.  I’d then drive and have to park at the ‘off campus’ location and wait for the shuttle bus.  Sometimes it would be too cold to wait outside at the bus stop, so I’d wait in my car until I saw it coming, then jump out and run over to the bus stop.

My morning did not improve from there as this was a difficult course and was necessary to gain admittance to business school.  It was known as a ‘weed out’ class where the majority of students would fail.  The number of students who wanted to go into business outnumbered the amount of places in the college of business.  There were a few in that class who were taking it for the third time and this frightened me.  I spent many hours in the tutor room and my only real memory of that is one of the tutors had halitosis.  He’d come up close to me and start explaining and I actually had to hold my breath it was so bad.  I felt sorry for him as that must be a very difficult thing to deal with, especially in relationships.

The time is now 4:03 and I feel the desire for a second sleep coming on.  But if I stay awake that gives me three more hours to do activities I’d like to do.  Nobody tells you this but once you have kids the day belongs entirely to them and you cannot do the things you’d like to do: read a book, take a nap, clean, re-arrange things, go to the gym, go for a bike ride, be by yourself, none of these things are possible.  It is only when everyone is asleep that you have the freedom to do as you wish without any guilt.