Racing Stripes, Hill Hike, Geek Beer

Someone called my cell phone at 6:30 with a wrong number (I hate that). Was at ‘s house by 10 with to help apply racing stripes to Chris’ Miata. Quite a tedious job, but kind of meditative. Way more difficult than it looks. The vinyl bubbles and buckles and you have to work out all the glitches with sponges and sewing needles.

Left there at 3:00 to meet up with Josh for a planned hike w/dog Stella in the Berkeley hills, to connect up, sweat in the afternoon sun, toss a frisbee to a joyous canine expressing her dog-hood through the bark and the sniff. Josh didn’t know what a Miata is. I asked, “What universe do you live in?” He answered, “You know what universe I live in. The one inhabited by bodhisattvas and free jazz musicians.” Sometimes I forget. It’s weird, Josh and I used to be so close, and he still lives right next door, but we’ve drifted in recent years, our interests so far apart in many ways. Yet we still share a bond, an understanding that goes beyond everything else.
My universe used to be inhabited by free jazz musicians and freaks on the weird-ass literary fringes. Now it’s all digital everything. Or mostly. Sometimes I forget that I’m unbalanced. Josh helps me remember in the kindest ways.
Off to the Edinburgh Castle in SF to meet with Andrew Orlowski, a journalist from The Register and Henry Kingman, an old friend from ZD, who later ran all the Linux stuff for CNET but who has just lost his job there (same story everywhere you turn these days). This pub does a trivia contest – the questions were harder than expected. Another of their friends, Robin Bandy, is part of the CLIQ collective, who do all kinds of programming and web hosting. They also offer DSL, and I’ve been shopping. Cool. Looks like I’ll be getting DSL from a tatooed geek collective in my own backyard. Reasonable deals, lots of freedom, good politics.

Great to get to know Andrew and Henry too. Henry had a good job suggestion: SSC, who run Linux Journal, and who almost published The BeOS Journal, which I labored my heart out on a couple of years ago. Hmm… very promising possibility. Andrew told me all about the internal workings of The Register, which I have always admired. What I like about them is that it’s sort of gonzo technology journalism, very different from the usual copycat mainstream tech journalism style. I think they have a great chance of ultimately succeeding because they come from anarchy, are growing organically, not the brainchild of some MBA with a bunch of startup funds and a product no one wants.

Somehow I feel a bit more connected to knowing what I want do next after this night out. Know that I want/need to hook up with something I believe in, something I can rally behind and not just work at for the sake of having a job. Not sure yet what that thing will be, but I don’t think I can go work for a big conglomerate monolith. But neither am I willing to go back to working for a dinky underdog with no hope and no future. Something in between. Increasingly, it’s seeming that Linux provides that perfect middle ground, and that I just need to find the right niche for myself in that world.

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