I am, in fact, back from my trip to Sacramento. Not that you could tell from my blogging output, or lack thereof.
I usually manage to get a post or three done while I am on the road. Something about being alone in a hotel room with my laptop, a high speed connection, and no distractions. But, for a variety of reasons, I was nearly post-less last week, and haven’t done any better since I’ve been home. I’ve missed it, and will do better.
A few Sacramento reflections:
The highlight of my week was a side trip to Oakland that I took on Thursday night. Oakland, you say? Of all of the places that I could have visited in California, why Oakland? The answer is that is where my brother Brian lives.
While I would not have forgiven myself if I had spent a week within 100 miles of Brian and had not made an effort to see him, I honestly did not feel like making the trip. Thursday had been a long day near the end of a long week, and what I really wanted to do was go for a run, get some dinner, and crash. Instead, I gassed up the rental car, chugged some caffeine, and headed southwest to Oakland.
After surviving an 80-mile journey that featured my introduction to Bay area rush hour traffic (including the idiotic California custom known as motorcycle lane splitting and a uniquely California traffic report that warned motorists of a guy who had stopped his car on the freeway, taken off his shirt, and was running wildly through traffic), I finally made it to Brian’s place. He and his girlfriend are living in an industrial part of town (I assume that there are non-industrial parts of Oakland, although I didn’t see any) in a warehouse building that is being converted into funky apartments. Lots of space for him to rehearse, which he enjoys.
We had a good visit. We went down to Berkley (and now I have a better idea why they call it “Beserkley”) and had sushi for supper. After I managed to put all thoughts of hook-baiting out of my mind, it was actually quite good. I brought Brian up to speed on the latest goings-on of his East Coast Fan Club (his nieces and nephew), and was able to get a better sense of what he’s up to than I’ve had for a while. We have chosen different paths in life, but I’ve come to realize that it’s OK. Brian is happy, does no harm, and spreads goodwill wherever he can. That’s more than most can say.
As I said, my visit with Brian was the highlight of my week. I had a couple of 6-mile runs along the American River Parkway that were good workouts, but not the scenic jaunts that I had hoped for. Things were looking good as I veered off of the asphalt walkway onto one of the many inviting singletrack trails leading off into the woods, but after running into one homeless person’s campsite after another, I concluded that the trails weren’t exactly runner-friendly. I have a soft spot in my heart for homeless people as a result of my involvement with the PACEM ministry, but I wasn’t comfortable getting up close and personal with these guys in the woods. It’s one thing hosting homeless men as guests in your church, and quite another to run through their living room without an invitation – even if their living room is a hidden clearing in a public park. So, it was back to the asphalt paths for me.
What else? Oh yes, work – the reason I was there in the first place. Apart from one missed meeting where my customer had sent me an Outlook appointment that saved as 3 hours later on my calendar due to the time zone differential (so she was expecting me at 11:00 a.m. while my calendar told me it was a 2:00 p.m. meeting), my appointments went well, on the whole. People are people, even if they don’t share your accent.
So there it is. A rather disjointed post, but at least I’m back in the saddle. More to follow.