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April 10, 2017

Runway 26L

I wake up in the morning and I hit snooze a few times.

But I've got to fly to Kalifornia to pay the bills. I mean, really, I'm lucky to have a place to go, really.

I'm not sure what else I would do with my time but lay in bed and feed the cats. So, I get up and I fly to Kalifornia.

I do this every Monday. Not that it makes sense. But it's what I do.

Now, keep in mind that I've been on this project for 9 months.

Always, before, we mostly worked in Riverside. Or in Oakland. But now....now we're mixing things up a bit.

Now, we're going out on site to different locations for about 10 weeks or so.

So now, every week is a stretch. Now, you have to really figure out....which airport will I fly into? How will I get my motorcycle there? Etc.

Now, it takes some planning. Some mental gymnastics.

This week, we're going to be working in Pomona. So, I have my KTM in short term parking at the Ontario Airport. (I recently switched from long term parking to short term parking because, why not really? I mean...it's not like I'm paying in either case.

So, this morning, I'm flying to Ontario, and always, the biggest decision is which side of the plane to sit on. Do I want 2A? or 2F?

(I have a little scam that I run that allows me to board the plane first, but I won't go into that here.)

I have another scam that I use to keep people from sitting in the middle seat, but that flight is full today, so that scam doesn't work. That scam is pretty simple. When you check in, you ask "How full is this flight?"

And, if they say, "there's 50 empty seats," then i pull down the middle tray and turn to the guy beside me on the aisle and I say "The middle seat is taken...she's in the bathroom", and then I put on my headphones, and he tells everyone that asks that someone is in the middle seat and she's in the bathroom. Then, when we take off, I put the tray up and, if he says anything, I say "I guess she sat somewhere else."

So, today, I sit on the side of the plane so i can see my house when I fly over it and I can't really sleep, for whatever reason. So, I watch the Desert Southwest scroll by and I take some shots. Such a beautiful montage of deserts.

I know the runways when we take off in Denver(26) and the runways when we land in Riverside (26L)

I can point to my neighborhood from the plane when we fly over.

We land at Riverside at Gate 307 and I'm upset about the gate choice (it should be 403).

Once we stop, I retrieve my helmet from the overhead bin. Doubelcheck my seat to make sure I'm not leaving anything, and I bolt from the plane.

Walk outside, and make sure all of the cop cars are empty. They park thee decoy cop cars at the Riverside airport so there's an illusion of security.

Now, I program the address of Cal Poly Pomona into the GPS, and snap the GPS into the mount on the bike, and I'm off. I'm on I-10 heading west. It's 10:00 a.m., and I've missed most of rush hour. Now, a motorcycle comes up behind me and I wave him around. Now, we're lane splitting at 100 mph and, I know that I'm not going to live forever. I may not live until lunch time, at these speeds. But, we're lane splitting at triple digits and I'm just following the GPS. I've been to Pomona before. But I think that we were only there for a day or two.

By the time I get to Riverside, I'm drowning in adrenaline.

I'm not really sure where to go, so I just go to the same place we met at last time.

Like...this part is kind of fun. Like...I'm not even really sure where I'm supposed to be, so I just go to the same conference room we were in last year and park my bike.

I sea Sean driving a sports car with Arizona plates. It's a strange world we live in. "Where in the hell did you get a car with AZ plates?"

"I dunno...I rented it here..."

Fair enough.

So now, I'm trying to get a parking pass and find a place to park my bike. They give me a parking pass and show me where to park my bike in a gated section of the parking lot.

Now, we go in and basically sit down and start trying to plan for next week. So now, I'm trying to find a place to stay next week. The plan is that, on Thursday, I have to drive my bike to LAX, and I fly out of LAX on Thursday. Then, on Monday, I fly back into LAX, and my bike will be there. I make a reservation in Los Angeles for the next two weeks on AirBnB.

So now, I've got a place to stay for next week. And I've already re-arrangled my plane reservations.

Now, we're trying to get situated in the conference rooms at Pomona. I sit in one room. Then move to another. Trying to sort of find a place that's not too crowded or too loud. My boss is emailing me asking what I'm going to do this week and I'm like...seriously?

Like...how about nothing?

But, he has some ideas that I should do some work this week. So, I'm trying to sign in and do some work.

But now, it's time for lunch, so we go into the lunch room and they serve us a free, semi-decent lunch.

Now, back into the conference rooms, and I'm concerned that I need to do a presentation tomorrow. THen, I see it's really Wednesday. Then, my boss tells me it's been pushed out a month or two. Woohoo!!!

So, really, I have precious little to do now. He has some assignments for me, so I'm trying to work on these.

At some point, I realize that I can't find my glasses. Like...I have 2 pair of glasses....my regular glasses and my readers.

But now, for whatever reason, my glasses case is gone. So, all I have is my readers. And, my regular glasses and the case has disappeared like snow in the springtime.

I check, over and over, my riding pants, riding jacket, my CC Filson handbag/suitcase. Nada. I can't find them anywhere. I keep checking the same places over and over but nothing will make them magically appear. I go to the Lost and Found, but they don't have them.

And, now, this is the hard part. Because, without a memory, they're just sort of here, or they're not here. And, if they're gone, I'm pretty much screwed. Like...I can't ride my bike without them. So then, I think...how did I get here? If I drove my motorcycle from Ontario to Pomona, then I must have had my regular glasses on (not my readers). And then, when I got to work, I must have put my readers on. So, my glasses must be here somewhere in the his building. I check all 3 rooms. I check with lost and found. I've got nothing. I keep coming up empty.

And, it makes no sense, if you think about it. I must have had them on to drive here from the Ontario airport. Christ, I was lanesplitting at triple digits. I must have had them on there. And then, I'm pretty sure I remember changing glasses once I got here. So, they must be here somewhere on this campus. I check with Lost and Found, but they don't have them. Lord God.

And, this sucks.

I have some contacts I can wear as a backup, but, if I don't have my glasses, then it sort of means that I can't do this any more. Like....I'm about 1 step away from retirement at this point.

If I can't travel, and keep all of this gear together, then this way of life is over for me. And, don't get me wrong, it's not easy. It's not easy for anyone doing this....living this lifestyle. I'm flying twice a week, and I have to have, when I land, keys for each time zone. Riding gear. Parking receipts. Credit cards. Cash. Helmet. Gloves. Riding pants. Riding jacket. Office keys. House keys for house in Riverside. House keys for house in CO. Car keys for car in CO. Passport.

Like...I have to have all of this stuff, all of them time. So, it aint easy. And maybe my days are numbers. Maybe my time is up. If I can't keep it together, then maybe it's time to let the younger kids come in and take over.

Despondent, I go to Riverside for dinner and a beer. Like, I love the old downtown in Riverside, and especially the old Mission Inn in Riverside. I discovered the Mission Inn at the end of last year (2016), but last week, John and Sapna took me all through the Inn and I was just blown away. So I figure I'll stop in for a beer.

So, I'm eating dinner and drinking a beer, pondering my future, and somehow, when I look down into my suitcase at the Proabition Restaurant, I see my glasses case. They're stuck down into some little pseudo-compartment that I'd never really noticed before. I have my freaking glasses back. Woohoo!!

Posted by Rob Kiser on April 10, 2017 at 10:42 PM


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