Finest Author’s Moment

Train in the Salinas Valley

Hold That Train

     In my former life, I was a journalist. Once, I had decided to write a news article on train travel, and Amtrak had comped me three tickets to do it.

     The travel required that I ride the Coast Starlighter from Salinas to San Luis Obispo, wait 20 minutes, and catch the train back. My daughter, 4, and my mother-in-law accompanied me.

     It was a great experience, but we were delayed on the first leg, which meant we would miss the connection home. To my surprise, when we reached San Luis Obispo, they had held the train that would take us back to Salinas.  Apparently, Amtrak didn’t want a “fun train travel” article to turn into a “when you miss your train home” article.

     The best part of having a train held for you is walking the length of the train with everyone staring  at you. For a moment, we weren’t just Grandma, mom, and little girl, we were famous people.

Virtual Cyclist

Black and white image of cyclist

Feeling Blurry

     It’s not easy living the virtual life. It’s now Spring in Silicon Valley and the sun is beckoning. But that puts such a glare on my laptop screen, I am inside.

     There’s blogs to write, Facebook posts to answer, and I must follow Lance Armstrong on Twitter. Somehow, he finds a way to live a virtual and real life, but then, as a cyclist, his balance is better than most folks’.

     So, I need to install some app on my computer that allows me to virtually ride my bike and tweet, update my website and burn calories.

     Until there is, I am anchored to the sad fact that one must go outside to ride a bike. Maybe that’s a good thing. Though I think falling down in an application and virtual road rash would be easier to take than the real thing.

     Don’t honk if you see me out there. It always scares me.

Fearless Flying Furrini Family

Squirrel Crossing Sign

Beware of Clumsy Squirrels

     The squirrels of Silicon Valley are like no others. They love to cross the road on telephone wires. I have always wondered if one day, one wouldn’t slip and land spread eagle on my windshield. I guess that’s why you have windshield wipers.

    Back when I was a newbie commuter here, I remember the first time I saw the true expertise of Silicon Valley drivers. A squirrel was running in circles at the intersection of El Monte and El Camino. Why he lost it at that time (the morning commute) and the intersection (one of the busiest in Mountain View) is a mystery. Maybe he was drunk and slip off a telephone wire. To my surprise, my up-until-now heartless fellow commuters were doing a great job of not hitting the squirrel.

     It inspired me enough to add it to my book, “OLD HUSBANDS’ TALES” where a group of eclectic, high tech coworkers, who will bet on anything, lay money on the odds of a squirrel surviving in the intersection of De Anza & Stevens Creek.

4 Ways to Survive Bill Belew’s Blogging Workshop

Who can learn with these classmates?

To serve my bloggership better,
I gave five minutes of my copious spare time
I found it was harder to survive the workshop than to blog. Maybe that was just me.
Here’s few tips you could use in your next workshop. . . ANY WORKSHOP!
  • Realize that your fellow workshoppers are idiots – This will lessen your stress level considerably.
  • Bring your own coffee – If you don’t bring your own,  you won’t get any. You’re too busy misunderstanding what’s going on and suffering the stress of incompetent classmates to get up and get a cup
  • Take a friend – This helps you do reality checks . Is it me that doesn’t get this, or is it everyone else? (For me, unfortunately, it was me.)
  • Prepare to do the real blog later – You will notice when you write the test  blog that you are only competent to write a blog about how NOT to write a blog.

This workshop could change your life.  For better or for worse? That’s up to you.

Queen of the Lottery

     For all the time I’ve spent collecting lottery from my coworkers, you would think I would be a heck of a lot richer than I am. At least we are doing our part for California schools.

     However, all this “loan me a dollar” and “let’s-play-these numbers” inspired me to write “OLD HUSBAND’S TALES,” a novel about a group of eclectic, high tech coworkers who hit the big one with their office lottery pool and end up with a reality TV show.

     This was all wishful thinking. Every time my real-life coworkers and I had an impossible deadline or their were lay-offs, we all looked to the lottery as an oasis. Like the memory of a vacation, or the dream of one to come, it took us from our despicable reality to our new “happy place.”

     Next time life isn’t working for you, go buy a lottery ticket. It will work wonders-at least for little while.