At some point, after a seemingly endless rain and lack of sunlight it becomes impossible to get out of bed in the morning.Â The pitch black mornings remind you that winter near the 48th parallel can kind of suck.Â That pitter patter of rain on the window reminds you that temperate and rainforest are two words that should not be said in such close proximity.Â I just think, my snooze button needs to be hooked to a time machine.
The furnace kicks on, bringing up the smell of coffee up from the kitchen.Â A sense of urgency kicks in with a chirp from the phone, reminding you it’s time to go if you want to catch the early bus; I know that won’t happen now, but it means I really need to hurry to catch the next one.Â Springing out of bed and through the shower I manage to get dressed before grabbing Jaani like a football and whoosh past the gate to race Nini toward the back door.Â She tends to seek revenge when I make her wait to go outside.Â I send them out, fill their dishes with food and water, and grab my coffee and a parfait; only to rush for the bus just in time to watch it drive by.Â In the summer, the driver would no doubt stop for me, but alas, the sun is sort of… not a thing… on these mornings.
Time for plan ‘B’.Â I hold my finger to my ear as I say “Broadcast: I missed the bus and need a ride… ETA 5 minutes.”Â Assistant replies with a broadcast sent, and I picture the scene at home.Â My wife cursing at me in Mandarin as several speakers around the house play the broadcast.Â She rolls out of bed and prepares our daughter for a car ride.Â Her challenge is to try and keep from waking her up completely, and of coarse praying she will fall back asleep in the car.
For an early adopter of nearly every automation technology, you would think I would have a remote starter for my car, but for whatever reason, that item never made the list.Â The car is cold as it gets around these parts as as we guide a half asleep child with a cold into the icy chair… a little cry triggers a surge in blood pressure followed by relief as a few grunts indicate she is going to sleep.
I get a chance to sit with my coffee for a minute as we drive to the park and ride, and then back into the rain with me, as I queue up for the bus.Â I look around for a minute, and marvel at how orderly the line is.Â In the eastern suburbs, everyone linesÂ up in an orderly fashion, leaving space in front;Â when a bus pulls up, the people boarding that bus step forward, then move to the front of the line.Â I never see this type of order in downtown Seattle, nor do you see it on the South end.Â I always accredited it to the surplus of software engineers in these areas, as it seems like every other person works at Microsoft, Amazon, or Google; the crowd I always thought of as the culture of trust.Â You know, when you are on any of those campuses, you can leave a laptop or other expensive equipment laying around, and it will stay exactly where you put it.Â I think back about one time, there was a phone sitting on a bench at Microsoft campus for 2 days; at some point, someone plugged it into a charger, turned it on , and wrote a note with instructions on how to return the charger.Â I was told by a barista that the person who retrieved it was so excited to find their phone, apparently they were worried because the “find my phone” feature told them the phone was last seen at their desk.Â Yet, I digress… the bus lines… yea, those were orderly and polite… so crazy.
The next couple hours feel completely unproductive.Â The hour-long bus ride gives me some time to finish my coffee.Â I keep a french press at my desk, which is pretty much required on days like today; I grab some hot water from the break room and sit down at my desk.Â Making coffee has become almost like a ritual for me these days.Â I find I get a therapeutic satisfaction in adding the grounds and pushing the press down just enough to submerge the beans underwater.Â Better yet, is my weekend ritual making espresso;Â I will sometimes take 20 or 30 minutes to get my coffee just right… grinding the beans, loading the portafilter, pressing the grounds, steaming the milk, and finally pulling the shot… the longer I take, the better it seems to taste.Â Similar is the process of making a Matcha Latte… yet again, I digress.
Another 20oz of coffee down, I take a walk around the office to get the blood flowing a little bit.Â By this point, I have basically had coffee and laid out my plan for the day.Â I settle in to my desk, put on my headphones, and try to pump out some work.Â I’ll get in a thousand words across a dozen emails or so… record a few PTF scripts and maybe optimize one or two for release… have a quick review meeting, and send a screenshot or two off for review.Â I look over and see some light coming in the window… it must be lunch time.
Sure enough, I walk out to a sunny beautiful afternoon.Â This is the part of living here that keeps me here; the sunlight and bright blue skies that peek out at you.Â After grabbing a shepherd’s pie from a pub around the block, I take a stroll through the old downtown and international district.225-399-4222
About a mile later, I make it back to my desk, and work on lowering my heart rate and wipe off a thin layer of sweat that I built up taking in this month’s sunshine.Â I settle in for a bit more work and a couple meetings before heading off the catch the bus home.Â I don’t really worry about missing this bus.Â It’s right next to the building and I have plenty of time to get there.Â The sun is gone… night has returned with a fine mist.Â The kind of mist that lasts for months in these parts, but I made it for the sun… that will keep me going for a few days at least.