2024-04-01 Monday

Nobody reads my blog. And that’s okay. Nobody read my blog when I started back in 1996, either. For about a decade, blogs were a thing. Now they’re quiet again.

Now I am middle-aged, and life is full with family and work. There’s no time and need for a blog. But sometimes I feel the itch. I give it a scratch. Sometimes I look back on what I’ve written recently. It pleases me. That’s all we need.

One day I will be less content.

2024-04-02 Tuesday


An excellent headline. This shop is “just around the corner” from where I grew up, at least in Suburban terms. I went to a closer bike shop, though mainly I had access to an on-site mechanic I call Uncle John.

Ross found himself in the city because he fell in love with a Chicagoan and left his old life behind for her. Although she died two years ago, Ross can’t return to the Amish community he grew up in because he was shunned for choosing to marry her, he said.

“I was so blessed to have her in my life,” Ross said. “Even knowing how things turned out, I’d still make the same choices a thousand times over because I had never experienced love like that before. But, it’s challenging to live here without her to protect me. … I miss her constantly.”

Ross has remained committed to his faith and still follows many of the Amish traditions he grew up with. His wife helped him learn to use a phone and navigate public transportation, but she “respected that [he’d] always be Amish,” Ross said.

The couple’s strong bond “developed naturally,” and they easily found ways to co-exist, Ross said. For example, Ross won’t take any photos that show his face, but he got pretty good at snapping pictures of his wife. When Ross proposed, he gave her a ring as she expected. But instead of wearing one himself, he honored Amish traditions by growing out his beard.

Fixing electric bikes helps Ross “keep his mind off things,” he said. He also finds a lot of joy in caring for his dog, Lucy, who he brings everywhere with him.

“I just keep to myself and let others deal with people,” Ross said. “My favorite part of my work is designing a concept, then bringing it off the page into reality, and seeing how happy and surprised the customer looks when they pick it up.”

Relatable guy.

2024-04-08 Monday

2024-04-09 Tuesday

Sometimes your local Planning Commission is a forum for personal frustrations. We call this Democracy.

2024-04-12 Friday

Some people’s best angles are behind them.

2024-04-12 Friday

I was walking to the train station but it rolled up early. The gates came down and the train rolled into the station. A few young women went around the down gates to make their train. I wanted to Follow The Rules and wait for the gate, but experience has taught me that Caltrain can not be trusted to wait. I looked both ways and joined the crowd rushing to board the train. We got up the steps and the train was rolling ten seconds after the scheduled departure time. I have read that in Switzerland the trains depart at 59 seconds after. (I can not verify this information … Swiss trains appear to depart at the top of the minute.) I found an article that in New York, trains unofficially depart one minute after the official time. But I learn Caltrain doesn’t treat the timetable as a schedule and that passengers are recommended to arrive ten minutes before the posted time because trains will totally leave early. (A coworker shared a story of missing an 11pm train that had left early. Ouch!)

Then there was a 35-minute delay at California because of a “trespasser” incident. Someone had died on the tracks. Probably a suicide but I was upset that the railroad’s practices induce reckless behavior. Had I waited for the gate to raise, I would have missed my train, and had to wait 45 minutes for the next train, which was itself delayed another 20 minutes.

My train home departed 30 seconds before the timetable. In Japan, this would warrant an apology. But with Caltrain, passengers could have just waited around for another twenty-ish minutes for the next train. After all, it is rush hour! The train “ran hot” down to Mountain View, where the conductor explained that you could get off the train to catch the express to San Jose, because as early as our train was, it was going to have to wait at Lawrence for the express to pass.

So … why?

After the stress of running across the tracks in the morning, because the railroad doesn’t care about the passengers and then catching sight of someone’s Last Day, I needed to take a walk. I did spy a diesel train pulling an electric trainset up the tracks. The progress made me happy. We’ll soon be running Swiss trains. Maybe we can run on Swiss schedules.

2024-04-13 Saturday

The taxes are done now, which is important because we are having a nice overnight trip with the in-laws on Sunday.

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