Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Morning lack of commute

It’s about ten before nine as I start writing this, and I’m not in traffic this morning; instead I’m sitting in the Millbrae Panera, about 10 miles from the house, with a bagel and cream cheese and a cup of coffee. Yes, it’s a holiday, and one that I’d almost forgotten about having off—it was only as I was leaving the office and called “see you Monday” to a coworker that I got back, “Oh, Monday’s a day off. See you Tuesday.”

The power at the apartment went out this morning, just after seven, and as far as I can tell it’s still out. This means that my web sites and the Excursion Society MUCK are down, as well as haikujaguar’s Stardancer. I did learn, at least, that the UPS monitoring daemon in OS X actually works now, as after about five minutes Parmesan (my PowerMac G5) shut down gracefully. Unfortunately, Agii (the web server) didn’t have that enabled, so hopefully it’ll all come back up without undue stress. (In theory, I back up my home directory to Parmesan via rsync every night, and I back up Parmesan to an external drive… somewhat less frequently than I honestly should. Parmesan is actually due for an internal hard drive replacement given its age, but I’m still debating replacing Parmesan itself. That’s another post, though.)

(Note: around 9:20 or so, Agii came back online. I haven’t reconnected to it to check on my own various web services, but I shall before I leave Panera.)

So what do I plan to do with my day off, you ask? In theory, write. I haven’t done anything on “Gift of Fire” since last weekend. I’ve been having trouble dragging myself out of bed early enough to get in writing in the morning, and both of the weekend days were largely committed—Saturday to a somewhat roundabout trip to Santa Cruz, and Sunday to a large block of role-playing on the Excursion Society, kicking off a long-delayed trip and some of the first interaction that hasn’t been characters sitting around hoping something would happen in months.

In practice, I don’t think I want to sit here at Panera the whole day trying to write, though. The atmosphere’s still pleasant enough in its own way but perhaps it’s become a little too sterile, or perhaps I’m anticipating the inevitable lunch rush with dread. (They’ve also taken to shutting off your wifi if you’re on it for more than 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., precisely because of said lunch rush—an understandable business decision but not one that fills me with joy, even though if I’m writing I shouldn’t be on the damn network anyway.) I’m contemplating heading up into San Francisco to check out Ritual Coffee Roasters, which I’ve been to once before, many months ago, and see if I can write there. Will it be magically more inspiring? Maybe. Maybe it’ll just be a waste of time, of course.

I’ve also brought my camera with me. I have a Nikon D70; last week I became a bit technolusty after one of the newer Nikons, the D300. (For those not up on the model line, the D70 was replaced by the D70s and then the D80; Nikon’s newest cameras are the Serious Pro Level D3 and its less buff cousin, the D300, which is nonetheless a serious leap up from the D80.) But, I didn’t use it very much at all last year; if I want to re-engage my shutterbug a little, I need to get re-engaged with the tools I have before buying new ones. And, of course, if I bought a new gadget sometime for the D70—a new lens, a tripod, an external flash—it would transfer to any newer camera body. But the point is to retrain myself to get out there and start taking photos again.

Thinking about computers and camera gear also, not unsurprisingly, makes me think about finances. That too could be another post, but the short form is that on Friday, I got my first direct deposit paycheck. Regular pay means I can put into effect a regular transfer into savings, something I haven’t done since… well, I’m not sure I’ve done it this decade. Last year on contract, I did put money into savings irregularly, but most “savings” actually went to debt payment. At the end of 2006 I paid off my car, leaving just a credit card debt that was, if I recall right, about $10K. I paid that off by the end of 2007. Given the bleak economic outlook for 2008, this is probably an excellent time to not have debt. I now might have the stability to start (gasp) buying stocks and bonds—which at first glance seems odd to think about given that just-mentioned economic outlook, but over the long-term, it’s nearly always a good bet. I’m still doing my research on that.

At any rate, even if I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, it’s definitely time to do something. Upward and onward.

Tags: money, tech, urban, writing

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