I just got back from my vacation yesterday. It was good to see my friend Sheldon again. This time I went to see him in his native California.


I was up all night Sunday and all morning on Monday the 23rd until 5am when the cab came to pick me up. I quickly stuffed my case with what I thought I needed, and rushed out. The plane was full but left on time. I made it to a connecting flight at Minneapolis, and landed at San Jose at 1:37, 1 minute late. Sheldon was there waiting to pick me up.

The place was definitely different from Boston. For one thing I could see mountains and palm trees. We drove off and started chatting immediately. Went to lunch. Talked about what he's been up to lately and what was new in my life. We dropped by his father's house and met his grandmother. She tried to give him food to take back just like my grandmother would do. He tried his best diplomacy and we were able to leave with only a big salmon steak. We hung around his house and then ate out and just drove around.


On Tuesday, we went shopping. I got myself hiking shoes. The best part of the day however was the arcade. We played battletech. Each player had their own pod with screen, joystick, throttle, and status displays. Each player could choose their own tech depending on preferences. The status displays were actually fully functional in the advanced mode. We played for about five sessions. After each, a player received their individual report of the battle. Fun as sin. It seems I had kept damaging his leg so his tech was actually limping along on one leg! That was cool. he he cool, he he. We had hot dog on a stick for lunch. Weird food. Basically a hot dog on a stick with a thin layer of fried dough on it. Apparently the chain has been around since the 50's and they seem to be famous for their lemonade. Go figure. The employees wear bright read and yellow uniforms and use a pogo stick like instrument to make the lemonade. So they jump up and down on these buckets full of lemon, attracting attention.

Anyway ... Later on we received a surprise call from my roommate, he was already in San Jose, today instead of Wednesday. So went and picked him up. We hooked up with Sheldon's best friend Rich. We ate out that evening. Drove around tech row. Passing by tech companies the likes of HP, Sun, SGI, Netscape etc. We noticed that 2 out of the 3 Netscape buildings were empty.


Went to the mall again. Played more of battletech. Blew each other up. Later we all went to San Francisco, dropped off my roommate there. Tried to get into the Bruce Lee exhibit but it was closed. We left my roommate in San Francisco to meet some friends. Spent a rather mellow evening. Was good.


Had a good lunch at an Asian restaurant. Headed out to San Francisco again and got to see the Bruce Lee exhibit. The exhibit was not large but did a good job of presenting the martial arts flick pioneer. The gloves and 2 sets of clothes used in the Enter the Dragon were on display as well as some letters were. Including one sent to a producer pitching for Enter the Dragon. Some notes on philosophy were there as well. He was quite the thinker. Very contemporary and willing to throw out old ways if they no longer made any sense. Despite his rather traditional Wing Chun kung-fu training he crossed many martial arts. Really cool guy. I've always wondered what he would be like if still alive. One of those what ifs.


My last day. Woke up. Me, Rich, Sheldon and my roomate Dave, headed out to Apple. Rich's connection there got us in as visitors and had lunch in the cafeteria. Did not see the rest of the buildings however. Lots of large Think Different posters hanging from windows and buildings. The cafe had quite a few selections, including freshly made pizza. We left Rich at the Apple campus.

The rest of us just drove around. Went thru Palo Alto and used a public toilet there. To top the day off, we went hiking. This was cool. We drove high up the mountain as dusk was settling in. We were in a fog as Sheldon drove us to a popular spot. It had a large boulder overlooking the mountain side and onto the valley. We climbed it and sat and took in the view. Nothing was visible at first but the fog slowly lifted. One by one the street lights became visible, the shape of the bay came into view and the whole place came alive. The darkness was almost completely upon us. I looked back towards the mountain and could see the clouds rolling over the top and down the side. The trees were hidden by the mist. It was beautiful and somewhat eerie in the darkness. We could see several lonely cars making their way up the mountain roads. It was awesome. I asked to stay longer and take it all in.

We finally left and found a nice little Asian restaurant. After dinner we headed home. My plane was leaving around 6:45 am and I stayed up until 5. Sheldon drove me to the airport. On the way over we stopped by a hilly side of the town and stared at the stars. The sky was clear and full of jewels. I headed back to Boston on Saturday and unwound the rest of the day.


Hung out with masukomi and had fun. Nice way to top off the week. She had just had the last week at work, and we went back to pick up some of the rest of her stuff she had left.

Sheldon is a really cool guy. I've known him since my BU days, after meeting him at the kung-fu club. He's one of those rare people that I just have to be friends with and hang out. They have a good soul, they're honest, care about the people around them, and just great to talk to. I like the way they look at life and listen to the things they've learned. There is something cool about them in just the right way. Thanks Sheldon.