ARTLUNG: <Joe Crawford> <San Diego> <California> <USA> <FEBRUARY> <2003>

On The Road Again 2003 Feb 19

When last we saw our hero on a train, he was returning from his trip to Los Angeles. This was a most excellent trip. It included high adventure and much bemusement.

The tales of these exploits and the attendant pictures, as well as the links he culled from them have generated a nice amount of interest, and links. You can see some of the folks currently linking to me in the Referrers section. My thanks to those who have been interested in linking to my thoughts. I’m writing more, and enjoying it very much.

I’m on a train again, though this time without MacStumbler on and without a source of AC power. I’m on The Coaster, having stayed with my good friend last night in San Marcos. I got on at the Carlsbad Station. Leah got me there with a few minutes to spare. She’s a wonderful person.

My Car, a faithful companion for 14 years, is giving up the ghost. It will cost $1743 to fix it. Valve job, whatnot. I can’t afford it, and I don’t think it’s a smart investment. Further, the counsel of elders, an Aunt, my Grandfather, my girlfriend, my roommate also don’t feel it’s a hot idea. They think I should get a new car.

Mind you, I can’t afford a new car.

I can’t afford much.

Like many Americans, I’m heavily and irretrievably in debt. I need either much better cash flow, or to declare bankruptcy, or I’ll never get out from under it. As my father said last night “it’s like you’re buying a house,” which a followed up with “but I don’t get a house at the end of it.”

So I need money. And I lack a car. Luckily, my current contract, with an indefinite duration but with a verbal assurance that it will last “2 to 3 months” provides the money end. It also is in synchrony with the fact that I have no car. I am able to take mass-transit to work and can navigate the city of San Diego and outlying areas using this and this alone.

In this way I’m blessed.

Lessons.

On another topic, there is a relationship whose terms are changing. I have no idea how it will change. It is another adventure though. It hurts when things change, and yet change is really most inevitable.

But as I think of it all. It could be light-years different. It could be profoundly worse. I consider myself lucky to have friends and family who love me and support me. I have a vibrant community of online relationships who observe my life from a distance and wish me well. Does this group of loose relationships constitute a kind of church for me? A community? I have no idea, but it’s possible, because I don’t presently have a need for a formal religious community. As in all things, that may change.

The train moves past Encinitas now. The bungalows and beach condos are charming. There are surfers on Dawn Patrol. There. We just passed the North County office of Jenny’s and my Marriage and Family Counselor. There, we just passed where I house-sat late last year. And now we move into Solana Beach. It is foggy over the lagoon before the stop.

Why on earth do I blog? Why do I do this in public?

I am at a loss, but it’s not for public condemnation or praise. I would like this blog to be a conduit for finding work and for sharing my thoughts on the technical things which jazz up my life. I also want it, now I realize, as a means to share my experience. I think of the diaries of Civil War soldiers: literate men, enduring hardship, and prevailing.

Maybe that’s what this journal is, and it’s a word with explicit religious overtones: TESTIMONY. Herein I provide my testimony about my life and my work, and my experiences as a person going through this turn of the century period.

It is but one person’s testimony.

It is one on a planet of many BILLIONS.

That’s worth pondering.

As much as perhaps my story immerses and moves or bores you, there are dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, BILLIONS more. Ponder that and try and think your problems “amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

Billions.

My seatmates are chatting. On The Coaster every set of seats is a set of four. They are pointed inward at each other. One of my seatmates points West and exclaims “Dolphins!” Sure enough, there are dorsal fins of at least three dolphins making their arcs through the water. Perhaps 300 yards offshore.

Billions of people, all with stories.

Some people think that dolphins are intelligent and in some of the same ways human beings are. And add to those billions of people dolphins. Add other mammals and how many amazing tales does this planet foster just right now. And throughout its history? So many stories on this small blue planet.

We’re in Sorrento Valley now. A third of the people exit the train (is “detrain” a word?). They are off to their jobs in San Diego’s “Tech Center.” I’ve not worked any jobs in this area. Perhaps I should. Perhaps I should find a part-time job to supplement my income. It would be more work. Well, duh. Of course it would be more work. But it would be more stress, and less diversions. I think I need to work like a dog. I want to erase what I just wrote. But perhaps there’s something. I wonder if the San Diego Union-Tribune needs a blogging correspondent. I got some stray hits to SD Bloggers from what looked like an alpha U-T blog. It was a blogspot blog. It could only help them. Despite their recent coverage of the blog world, none of their writers blog. Maybe I could consult with them. Blogger emeritus?

I want to be valued. I want to help people. I am worth being paid well for this. I have smarts and experiences and an ability to solve problems that others lack. I know this well, and hope I will truly get a “salary commensurate with experience” in my next job.

I wonder if I should beg for money here. Apparently online begging is hot. But that’s not my style. I am happy to receive books and tidbits from my various readers. Thank you, Janece and Lemur for the recent gifts you sent. But I feel there will be a way for me to make ends meet, or get afloat without resorting to the equivalent of panhandling.

Billions of people.

All these stories, all of these lives, where are they now?

My roommate’s father died early yesterday morning. He had been ill for a long while. I did not know him, and never met him. He was a San Diego Policeman for many years. By all accounts a good man. I feel bad that this happened. It was not unexpected though. He took ill a few years ago and has had a rough time. It was natural in the fullness of the time, for him to die.

Another of billions.

I pause to consider my own life. I start work very soon. We are nearly to our destination. Today I will do more ColdFusion programming. Using tools to make tools for people. Doing the work of commerce, and perhaps for the greater good.

Onward, billions.

Joe Crawford blogged this at 5:49pm in 2003 in February. The 19th was a Wednesday. You are reading this 17 years later. Comment. There is one comment Tweet. Send email. It has no hastags.

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