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May 28, 2017

Baja California Del Sur - Dia Dos

So, this morning, we get up at the hotel and eat a complimentary breakfast. At some point, we go down to the beach for a swim.

We get out into the ocean, and then the realize that the undertow is taking us out and we can't touch the bottom. As we swim back in the waves start breaking on us. Jennifer is having a hard time with the waves and they crash on her and force her to the bottom. I grab her and hold onto her for dear life and about 2-3 waves crash over us, forcing her to the bottom. Each time, I bring her up and tell her to breathe, before the next wave hits.

Somehow, we struggle back onto the beach. There are, of course, no lifeguards on duty, and they sign says no swimming allowed. And a little black flag that says "Do Not Swim". As in never.

So, we come back up to the pool where it's safer.

Jen makes a reservation for us to go out to see the arch at San Jose Del Cabo at 4:00 p.m. We drive down there, following Mexico 1, going down the coast. We get there in time, but the idiots have double booked their tours at 4:00 p.m. So, we don't have a boat.

Another guy in the marina steps up and says he'll take us out there.

So, he takes us out to see the arch.

The marina at Cabo San Lucas is pretty nice.

Afterwards, we go back to San Jose Del Cabo and drive to the marina there. It's much smaller and not as many boats. We eat dinner at some place there on the marina. We decide that, tomorrow, we'll drive up to La Paz, following the coast (Camino Cabo Este to Mexico 1 to La Paz).

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 28, 2017 at 10:27 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

San Jose Del Cabo - Dia Uno

On Saturday morning, I'm awake before the alarm goes off. Thousand things are rushing through my head. Leaving the country isn't easy. Have to pack for a different climate. Different lifestyle. Different customs.

Everything has to be charged. Files copied off onto the home servers. Print out all of our reservations. Get cash out of the bank. Check into the flight.

We leave on time.

On the way to the airport, I'm running down the checklist with Jennifer. Make sure we haven't missed anything.

She asks if I called the bank to tell them we're traveling. Bingo. Totally spaced that one. So, on the way to the airport, we call the credit union and tell them we'll be in Mexico for a week. Both debit cards are set up for 1 week in Mexico. That was a big save.

Also, her phone never worked in Mexico last time, so, on the way to the airport, we call Verizon and explain to them that we'll be out of the country for a week, and last time, her phone never worked for shit. So, the lady sends us an email explaining how to make her phone work in Mexico. This is a godsend. It has exact details about what to do if the phone isn't working in a foreign country. Also, explains how to contact Verizon from Mexico, if needed. Big save.

Get to the airport on time. Check in our luggage. Show our passports. Get out to the gate. All is good. All is going as planned.

Get the preboard pass for the flight. We're among the first to board. Window seat and aisle seat. 2F and 2E.

This is a gamble. The wind at the airport in San Jose Del Cabo changes radically all of the time. So, I just guess and pick the starboard side.

Take off on time. 3 hour flight.
The inflight tracker isn't working, but basically, we follow the Colorado River south for 2 hours.

We land at San Jose Del Cabo, deboard on stairs to a bus. Bus to airport. Then, a long line to clear immigration.

We found our rental car place using TripAdvisor.com. Cactus Car Rental. So now, we won't get screwed on the rental car like we did last time in Cancun. This time, we land at San Jose Del Cabo, and we have explicit directions on how to get out of the airport, past all of the Tank Sharks.

A whole fucking room full of Tank Sharks, and we just ran through them, and went outside. But, once outside, it's very intimidating. Just rows and rows of people with signs, and none of them say Cactus Car Rental. Jen and I divert right, to regroup. One man comes up and we tell him we're looking for Cactus, and he points us to like the 2nd wave of people, and there's our Cactus guy. We go with him.

Shuttle to rental car place. This time, we don't get scammed. Get the rental car. It's a stick VW, but here we go.

Drive to the hotel, using Jen's phone to navigate. It's working in Mexico. We both cycle our phones to make them work. Every thing is going good. We have a rental car. Phones are working. We drive to her place she reserved for us. A hotel on the beach in SJD.

It turns out it's all inclusvie. Like, free drinks all day. Free breakfast. On the beach. It's a nice place.

SJD is pretty much a desert, with cactus, but on the beach, also palm trees and iguanas.

We drive into SJD for dinner.

We go to La Comer and stock up on snacks. Spot an ATM in the corner. Decide to max out on Pesos so we have some local currency. But, I manage to leave my debit card in the ATM machine. Like a genius.

We figure this out when we're eating dinner in at La Pesca in San Jose Del Cabo. We go back to La Comer, but they don't have the card, so we call and cancel it.

So, now I'm down to one debit card, $3,000.00 USD in cash, and about $6,000.00 in Pesos.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 28, 2017 at 11:48 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

May 16, 2017

This and so much less

In the morning, people shuffle into the office, slowly and without grandeur or pretense. They filter in from the area hotels, houses, and hostels. Airports and highways. People drift in quietly, unpack their laptops, and begin the day's work. Silently. Discreetly.

Slowly, the rooms fill up. Everyone searches for the little slips of paper on the paper. The papers with the userid and passwords for the week. Different than last week. They share the papers with friends and confidantes.

Now, the people come in bringing coffee. The workers push in carts with coffee and danishes. They brush away the homeless that come up to peer forlornly inot the windows. Sneak inside for a secret breakfast. But the workers shoo them away, back into the void from which they came.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 16, 2017 at 4:04 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

May 15, 2017

The Pearl - by John Steinbeck

Jennifer and I were down in the Yucatan for a Carribbean vacation over spring break. One of the things I did was slip a few books into my backpack for the trip, including The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway, and The Pearl by John Steinbeck.

Jen pointed out on the trip that I had read the book The Pearl to her at home, but I didn't really have any recollection of that.

Only, I think that what happened was when I went down through Baja on my motorcycle, I ended up in La Paz at one point, the setting for Steinbeck's The Pearl. So, I think that when I got back, I must have bought the book and read it to her.

Re-reading it now, I asked her..."When did we read this together?" and she was like "I have no information on that." So, she didn't really recall when we had read it, just that we had. Then I started thinking that maybe it was before she learned to read, but they learn to read in Kindergarten. So, I must have read it to her when she already knew how to read.

So I searched Peenie Wallie for the answer, and there it was, in my digital diary.

We finished reading the book in August of 2010 (roughly 7 years ago), so she was 12 at the time we were reading it.

I'm not a big fan of the book, as it's little more than socialist propaganda, but it was fun to reread it and reminisce with her.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 15, 2017 at 7:21 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 11, 2017

Thursday Morning

In the morning, the alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. I get out of bed and start packing for a different time zone. Going on the road. Make sure you have keys for Colorado, and take off. It's 40 miles to Pomona from Riverside, and I'm always tryin to find a route where the traffic isn't so bad. And every morning, I set the alarm clock for a little earlier.

We're supposed to be at Cal Poly Pomona at 9:00 a.m. I'm there by 7:00 a.m. Like...you don't want to be on Highway 60 at 8:00 a.m. That's rush hour. Bad idea.

At the Kellog West conference center, they're setting up breakfast for us. Coffee and danishes. Cupcakes. Fruit.

We get breakfast, and then settle down to work. There's a lot going on.

People trickle in, and begin to form clumps an talk, in anxious hurried dialogs. Nothing's really working right, and you don't have to look far to find a slew of problems. Pretty soon, I'm in a telefconference on my cell phone with a guy in Atlanta, and a guy in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I walk outside to escape the mayhem of the conference room. So I can hear myself think.

"No. I'm not making myself clear. Every single person is broken in the budget system. Pick anyone. At random. It doesn't matter. Go into the Budget, and you'll see the incumbent's salary is doubled. It's twice what it should be. No...it doesn't matter. They're all this way. Ok...you'll figure it out....ok...I'm hanging up now..."

And so it goes. Just madness. Madness at a blistering pace. By noon, I'm stressed out and we break for lunch.

Every day, at noon, they serve us a buffet lunch. Then, after lunch, we stroll around the grounds, admiring the flowers, the coi ponds, the rose gardens, the hummingbirds and squirrels. Pigs. Goats. Cows. Like...it's literally a school in the center of a farm in the center of the Los Angeles basin. Stunning.

But today, there's no time for a walk. Everyone breaks for lunch, but then it's off to the airports of Los Angeles.

But I'm heading to Chapparal Motorsports. To see if they have my new bike. Chris says they have me an Africa Twin. So, I ride 20 miles past the Ontario airport only to learn that Chris isn't in, and they've got the bike in the back of the store, turning it into a Honda Goldwing. Adding saddle bags and a bunch of shit I don't need or want onto it. Filthy bastards.

So, back onto the I-10, and east for 20 miles back to the Ontario airport, where I wait for my flight to take off, some time later in the day.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 11, 2017 at 3:31 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 10, 2017

Your Contract Has been Extended

Your Contract Has Been Renewed

My contract is up on July 1st. So, that's less than 2 months from now. And, they've been dicking me around. Giving me a bunch of shit. Pushin gme into the corner. "Why can't you be more like Ben? We want you to be a Subject Matter Expert. But you don't seem to grasp the tasks you've been assigned with."

So, finally, on Tuesday, I did my Budget Presentation. I showed them how the Budget works in a presentation before who knows how many people. Then, after the presentation was over, I just let everything go. Like...y'all wanted me to do a presentation. I did my presentation. Now, are you going to renew my contract, or not? And, by the way, trust me....I don't even give a fuck any more.

Like...I'm tired of y'all beating me down and comparing me to Ben. He's so perfect. Such a fucking genius. Why can't I be more like Ben? Hey...I've got an idea...how about you STFU?

So, finally, I called my manager, and told him...."Ask them if they're going to extend me or not. Like...trust me I don't give a fuck, one way or the other, but I need to know, because if they don't have work for me, then I need to start looking for work.

They've been giving me shit for taking photos during the day. And I'm like...trust me, if I want to take some photos when I'm walking around at lunch, I certainly will. That's not going to stop.

That was yesterday. Today, my boss comes to me. This is what he says.

"Well, the thing is that we're trying to downsize. They're trying to get rid of the contractors. (Like...no shit....after 5 years and $500,000,000.00 dollars, they've suddenly embraced fiscal conservatism as a guiding principle. Got it.)

"Ben will come down here and take over two of your CEMLI's.....I-702 Voucher Outbound, and I-160 Tuition Remission. But, we will extend you through the end of the year."

"OK. Fair enough. Thanks."

Like...Good Enough. That means that, I'm make another $150K this year, and then they'll release me just in time to drive to Tierra Del Fuego. Because, honestly, I've been looking around and July is the exact wrong time to be driving down to the Southern Hemisphere. It's Winter down there in July. So, Jan 1, 2018 would be the perfect time to leave on a drive down to Tierra Del Fuego.

I work the rest of the day like a rented mule. I dunno why. Maybe because I finally found out who the budget people are. So now, I can talk to them for the first time ever. Like...finally I have someone to explain what I've been working on for the last year to. Like...holy shit...you people exist. Let me tell you what I've been working on for the last year.

And we go over all sorts of things. I"m opening defects. Linking test cases. Training the end users.

And then, it's time to go. It's suddenly 7:00 p.m. and I'm exhausted. I'm Monday-night-tired on a Wednesday night. That never used to happen.

Now, it feels like I'm only halfway through the project. I went from almost at the end of the project (10 months out of 12), to barely halfway through (10 months out of 18). I'm exhausted.

Now, I'm thinking that I need to go into Chapparal Motorsports at San Bernardino tomorrow and buy my Honda Africa Twin.

At some point, John says, in passing, "We're in Riverside next week, aren't we?" Like, can you imagine a point in your life where you didn't know where you were going to be next week? Like...when you didn't know if you'd be in Oakland or Los Angeles or Riverside or Pomona? I can.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 10, 2017 at 10:33 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

May 9, 2017

The Hummingbirds in the Jacaranda Trees

In the morning, I wake up in Riverside, and ride my bike into Pomona. It's a 45 minute ride, lanesplitting much of the time. It's not safe, by any stretch of the imagination. It's suicidal, basically. Like...a suidal run across the Los Angeles basin to save spending $100 a night to stay at the very location I'm working at. Not a smart move.

As soon as I get onto Highway 60, a guy comes by me on a bike lane-splitting. So, I follow him. in theory, it's safer to follow another cyclist, as he sort of prepares the way for you. Cars are more observant of their mirrors once a bike comes by them lanesplitting.

But, the corrolary to this general rule is that, if the guy you're following has a death wish, then it's much more dangerous to keep up with him than to just ride on your own.

So, this is where we are. This guy is screaming down the imaginary corridor that divides the traffic lanes. And I'm trying to keep up with him. I'm not sure how much longer I'll live doing this. My guess is, not long.

But this is where we are.

Dancing like hummingbirds in the jacaranda trees.

Somehow, I make it into work. I'm getting ready for my presentation at 10:00 a.m. I get into work at about 8:15 a.m. So, I sit down and start putting together my presentation. Updating it. Reviewing it.

I ought to be familiar with it, but I'm not. I created it yesterday. But it's like I'm reading someone else's presentation. I can follow it, but I can't really predict the next screen or anything. So, I'm editing it. Updating it. Getting ready for my presentation. Very nervous, of course.

Right before it's time to do the presentation, the internet connection breaks.

"It's OK. Send me the presentation," Asok says.

"I can't send you the fucking presentation. It's in the cloud." Like...this is what I hate. I don't trust technology. Anyone that does is an idiot, a fool, or worse.

Asok has a copy of my presentation that I emailed to him last week. Somehow, he's connected to the internet. He shares my presentation, as I walk through it, screen by screen.

No one talks. No one asks questions. Nothing but the drone of hummingbirds darting among the roses outside on the veranda.

After the presentation, I walk outside and stroll around the grounds of the campus.

They've been playing this game with me for some time. Ben does this. And Ben does that. Why can't you be more like Ben?

My presentation was supposedly my chance to demonstrate to them that I could grasp the ring and be the budget guy. That I'd finally understand how the budget system works, and be able to explain it to the unwashed heathen masses.

But no one listened. No one cared. Everyone looked like they'd overdosed on heroin. I could have presented on syphilis, no one would have noticed. Slowly, it dawns on me...the people I'm presenting to aren't even here. Like, whoever is in charge of budgeting certainly wasn't in my presentation. How could they have been? They would have asked questions.

I try to put it behind me. The meeting is over, afterall.

I stroll around the grounds admiring the stunning Jacaranda trees. Whats so funny is that, the Jacaranda trees were always here, but I didn't even notice it until they bloomed. Now, I'm blown away. Flowers. Hummingbirds. Jacaranda trees. I'm just strolling around the grounds wondering who dialed all of this in? I mean, It was Kellog, of course. But I wonder how much he did, versus what the school did. This insanely dreamy campus.

My contract is up at the end of next month. And I don't know if I'll get extended or not. The truth is that don't really care. It doesn't really matter to me. For a beif moment, I allow myself to let it go.

I've done everything they asked me to. If they extend me, great. If not, that's OK too. Either way, I'm going to be ok.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 9, 2017 at 12:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 8, 2017

To Live and Die in LA

To Live and Die in L.A.

In the morning, I set the alarm clock for 5:00 a.m. My flight's at 8:30 a.m. I missed it last week. This week, I want to get on the plane, so I get up earlier. It's sort of hard when you're flying to different cities all the time. It's easy to make a mistake when your plane leaves at a different time every week.

So I'm driving out to the airport and some royal jackass gets on my ass. And he won't back off. He's right on my ass. So I brake check him and he hits me. This is why I don't have a gun in the car. Because I would have literally murdered that motherfucker this morning. I start recording him with my phone and he exits, realizing how close he came to dying or going to jail.

Like I need this shit.

So, I get to Canopy parking and park my car, get on the shuttle, and head to the airport. In the shuttle, the jackass beside me leans on me like we're engaged, I have no idea why.

I get to the gate with plenty of time, but there's no gate agent to hand me my Preboard pass. At 7:30, I mention to a SW employee that we don't have a gate agent. Apparently, they're supposed to appear miraculously at 1 hour before the flight departs. And sure enough, I turn around, and he's appeared somehow. Dreadlocks. Stoned. High as a kite. But he's there.

I get my preboard pass and board the plane. Some retarded flight attendant is blocking my path onto the plane. She's asking me if I'm preboarding and I'm like..."No, because your fat ass is in my way." Only I didn't say that of course.

For a brief second, I think about sitting on the other side of the plane. In 2F instead of 2A. Crazy, I know. I sit in 2A and as I put my gear in 2B, the guy beside me says "Is anyone sitting there?"

I look at him. I feel like it's groundhog day. I'm thinking....I sat next to this same motherfucker last week, and now he's onto my scam. He's figured me out.

Slowly, I realize that I forgot to ask the stoned gate agent how full the flight was.

"No.....no one's sitting here..." I offer.

Presently, word comes that the flight is completely full.

Eventually, a massive killer whale in the shape of a fading housewife takes the seat beside me. Her fat rolls across the arm rest in waves, touching me in a way that makes me want to vomit.

I fall asleep as soon as we leave the ground and I wake up over the grand canyon. Like....I can glance out the window, and I know every hill and crevice on the way to Ontario. There's a flight tracker than I can use with my laptop for free, but I recognize where we are at a glance out the window. This is nothing to be proud of. I'm just stuck in this rut and I don't know how to get out.

An infant in row 1 starts screaming at the top of his lungs and I wonder why I do this to myself. Why am I here? Like....I'd pay good money for a Colt .45 and a blindfold right about now.

As soon as the kid stops squealing, some jackass starts playing his radio really loud on the plane...so loud that I can't even hear myself think. I ring the flight attendant call button. A flying housewife comes back.

"What am I listening to?" I ask her. Uncertain if it's the person beside me, or someone 10 rows back.

She immediately senses the problem, and homes in on the offending jackass. He's across the plane and 2 rows back. Like...dude....how fucking loud do you need your radio to be?

She tells him to turn it down I'd have paid good money to see her toss him out the emergency exit door like D.B. Cooper.

We come in over the San Bernardino mountains, capped in a fresh layer of snow in May, no less.

We touch down in Ontario, 2 hours after we were wheels up in Denver.

Walk outside the Terminal, and this is the hardest part of every trip. 1) Is my bike there (where I think I left it) and 2) Do I have my motorcycle keys.

Like, make no mistake, this is a tight-wire act. There are so many ways to fail there aren't words.

I put on all my gear, and hop onto the bike. I keep it in Short-Term parking now. I pull on all my gear, set up my GPS and my helmet cam (all charged last night), and as I pull out across the sidewalk and nearly get T-boned by a jackass in a black truck going about 9 times the speed limit. I open the throttle and get in front of him and cut him off. Now, he's upset enough that he's chasing me down the highway. I do a U-turn at a redlight and lose him. Now, I'm west bound on I-10.

Like....this has not been a good day. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm west bound on I-10, but there's no traffic ot speak of. It's 9:30 a.m., and the traffic has died down.

30 minutes later, I'm rolling onto the Cal Poly University campus at Pamona.

Such a beautiful, luscious campus. You could almost forget you were in the Los Angeles basis. Stunning, green, with birds and flowers and purple Jacaranda trees.

I have a presentation, so I sit down and work on it all day, pretty much non-stop from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Like, it's hard for me to grasp anything. I'm like a retarded kid, basically, at this point.

I make a powerpoint and send it to my bosses and say, "This is what I'm going over tomorrow morning."

I go to the bar near my place in Riverside, it's called Cactus Cantina. I order some food and a beer, but I'm too tired or full to eat more than a few bites. I'm so tired. MOnday nights are the hardest. Feel like I've been run over by a train. I'm just lookin gat my beer and my dinner. Lord God I feel like I could fall asleep at the bar.

I don't think anyone really cares. Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. I dunno. My contract is up at the end of next month. So, maybe they'll extend me. Maybe they won't. I dunno. I don't really care. I've done the best I can. I'm very tired. I wouldn't mind if they cut me loose. I would get on my new Africa Twin (very new - not purchased eve), and ride off into the wild blue yonder. I only wish it was winter, so I could head to Tierra Del Fuego. It's the wrong time of year to do Tierra Del Fuego. Ugh.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 8, 2017 at 10:22 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

May 1, 2017

Return to Riverside

So like, in the morning I wake up and turn off the alarm.

I'm getting ready to go to the airport, but I know when I leave that I'm not going to make it. I leave the house 2 hours before the flight departs, and that's not really enough time. There's a train in my way, and then the TSA lines are bad, and I have to walk to the north end of the airport, and by the time i get there, I clear securtiy, and make it out to the gate. The gate is closed. The plane is sitting there. But they've already bumped me and put someone in my seat.

So now, I'm going to have to fly to Phoenix, then to Ontario.

Like, this is not great. It's the first flight I've missed on this project (and I've been doing this for 9 months). I message my boss to tell him I'll be in late, but he's also not coming in until later tonight. So, birds of a feather.

She gives me 2 boarding passes and I waddle down to my gate.

After about an hour, they let me board. I sit in 2A and tell the guy in 2C this, "there's a dude sitting in this middle seat. he's in the bathroom." He looks at me. I'm lying. Probably he knows I'm lying. But he just nods his head. I put on my headphones, close my eyes, and lean against the inside of the plane cabin.

Southwest flies 3 seating configurations on their planes: They seat 137, 143, and 175(? not certain on the 175 one).
And I've already asked her when I got my preboard pass how many seats are sold. So, I think she said 121, when means there's roughly 20 empty seats. All of this goes into the calculations.

It works, and he never asked where the guy went to when we took off.

I'm sort of surprised that we don't take off and fly due west. Instead, we head south, and then southwest. Like...who knew that we'd fly a different flight pattern if we went to Phoenix instead of Ontario right?

But it's kind of nice to see some different landscapes beneath us. And I'm shooting occasionally out the window, as we climb over the rocky mountains west of Colorado Springs.

I'm going to Ontario today. Like, it's so hard to keep up I just can't say. But imagine if you flew somewhere every monday and the guy just spun a roulette wheel every Monday to decide where you'd go. That's about what my life is like. And I mean...it's kind of exciting, but it's also kind of draining and unnecessary. Superficial and spurious.

I got a call from management about their expectations. Apparently, they're expecting me to work the same number of hours that I bill. And, based on my billable hours, they're having a hard time understanding why my presentation isn't ready. But, partly, it's not my fault. Partly, it's because we've been bouncing around the Los Angeles basin like pachinko balls in a blender.

Like...I could never tell you what the last two weeks were like in Los Angeles. But let me try...every day, we'd show up at the same building at 10920 wilshire blvd. Then, we'd hunt for a place to sit. Every day, we sat on a different floor....5th, 6th, 2nd, 8th, 11th....you could never know for sure. It was just insanity. They'd cram us all into these large conference rooms, looking out over Century City, and beyond, Los Angeles proper.

And, if I didn't get anything done during the day, then maybe I could be forgiven. I dunno. Every night, we went out to Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey, Malibu...you name it.

Like...I'm trying to cut costs, so I'm living in a shed in someone's back yard. There's no plumbing or anything of course. Like...basically, I'm in a Grapes of Wrath situation.

And then, after 2 weeks in Los Angeles, they want us back in Riverside. Like...just when I was starting to figure out the LAX airport. Just when I finally figured out how to get from the gate to the parking garage, they shuffle us back to Riverside.

So, I ride my bike from Los Angeles to the Ontario airport. This is on last Thursday. I take the long way, by taking Mulholland Drive, from I-5 to the Highway 101. And, then, I get on I-10 heading east. Eventually, I get to Ontario, and I park in short term parking. And I go inside, and board the flight and we take off. And when we take off, I'm looking for the ocean. Like...I seriously think we're taking off from LAX. But we're not. We're taking off from ONT. Obviously. I've just driven over an hour to get here. But I'm looking outside and I decide that we've taken off heading east from LAX, against the prevailing winds, because we're not over the ocean. So, that's the only logical explanation. Then, I realize...we're not taking off from LAX. We're taking off from ONT. Heading west.


Like...I do this. I wake up, and I don't know where I am. I mean...I can sort it out. I can figure it out. But I do wake up and i have to think about where I am. This is nothing to be proud of. It's a sign of things to come. And it isn't pretty.

Every week, I go to the bank and I take out $9,000.00 in cash because, let's be honest....no one needs that much money in the banks and I trust them as far as I can throw them.


Riverside is like, you're sort of floating near the surface of the Los Angeles basin. Like, you're near Los Angeles, by some measure. But no one with any sense would ever go there. Like, it's just too insane. The traffic is too intense.

Lane Splitting: Everyone dies, not everyone lives.

I don't think that, in the long run, i would survive riding a KTM across the Los Angeles basin, lane-splitting, et al. Like, it's too dangerous. I do it, and you rationalize it. Everyone does. I'm not the only one doing it. I see other bikes doing it. But, every time you see a car change lanes, a part of you thinks, "that guy would have killed me if I was next to him". Like, you see it happening. Every unsignalled lane change is a sharp and painful death.

And, I see this. Every day. Now, mind you, I'm not seeing crashed bikes every day. But I see the opportunity for crashes. I see that things aren't safe. That commuting out here, the odds of death in a daily commute are probably 1:100. And, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that I've been out here for 9 months. Part of me wants to be here. Part of me wants to be anywhere but here.

Like...part of me says, "Make hay while the sun shines. Don't let this slip between your fingers." And, another part of me says, "Fuck these people. Get a Honda Africa Twin, and ride down to Tierra Del Fuego."

And, when Jen and I were flying down to Cancun, my glasses fell apart. Like, after how ever many years....I think I got these glasses in Portland...the right stem just fell off while we were on the flight from Denver to Cancun. It fell down inside my shirt. And, we tried to super-glue it down in Mexico, but lately it's been falling apart again, so that several times a day, I have to put my glasses back together while I'm driving the car.

So, I'm driving back from UC Riverside today, to my house in Mission Grove, and I'm deathly afraid that my glasses are going to come apart while I'm driving 90 mph down the road. Like...this is suicidal. This is insane.

Like...I'm seriously going 93 mph. Like I need this shit. Get the fuck out of the HOV lane if you're going less than 80 mph. Who has time for this shit?

Life is so short. Why do we trade our hours for dollars? What sort of insanity is that? Like, basically, we're incarcerating ourselves. For paper currency.

Finally, I can't stand it any more.

"Hey, sunshine...can you get me the chicken?"

"You want the kicking chicken? With veggies?"


Like....she knows what i want. I'm basically a retarded idiot. "I want the chicken." That's all I can muster. So pathetic.

We land at ONT and pull into gate 403 and I'm so excited to be back in an airport I'm familiar with. After 2 weeks at LAX. Like...I'm walking a tight-rope 24/7. I'm bouncing back and forth between Mountain Time and Pacific Time like a ping-pong ball in a dryer. I go outside, and this is where the rubber meets the road. Is my bike here? Am I at the right airport? Is this where I left it? Has it been confiscated? Is it still here?

Like...I can't tell you what it's like to walk out into a parking lot in California and then see your bike. Like...yeah....my brain says I left it here on Thursday. But every time I see that fucking KTM in the parking lot, I break into a big shit-eating grin like....Holy Fuck....I still got it. I'm still in the game.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 1, 2017 at 11:30 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink