Last night at this same time I was here at Kinko's, but yesterday it was because I had bought a day pass on the trolley. I had determined in the morning I was not going to throw away another $5 on transportation.

So, at sometime around 7 yesterday morning I left and started walking towards downtown, following the trolley line (this time South, fer shure), and yet again ran into a dead end; the road that on the map had looked like a normal street, only wider, was in fact an expressway (163). Fuck it, I thought, I'll just go along the turnpike then. I made it only a few blocks with the traffic screaming by when up ahead I saw a California Highway Patrolman sitting parked in one of their little cubbyholes along the roadside, waiting for a speeder to nab. Now, what am I going to do? He's seen me already, for sure. If I turn around he's sure to suspect something, and I don't feel like being stripsearched on the side of the road after a long night of hacking. So I walk right on up as if to pass by, smiling and waving. He makes a gesture as if to say "Just what the FUCK do you think you're doing?", but the words come out more genteel. I give this lame answer that I didn't know it was an expressway, there was no sign, yadda yadda. Anyway, he was a nice guy and offered me a ride partway to downtown, which I gratefully accepted, and he let me out past University Avenue, telling me there was a park not far ahead where I could rest. Which there was, and I did.

When I woke up, a sunburn on my face where the sun had finally decided to burn away the clouds, I felt refreshed, and, noticing the gray squirrels all over the park, threw some crumbs out from one of the dried-up McDonald's or Burger King hamburger buns I've been saving. Sure enough, a bunch of the little devils came over and, sitting up on their hind legs with their little paws stuffing their faces full, they surrounded me, eating and looking at the strange bearded god that had blessed their day. Little did they know that I was planning on eating one of them. There was, in particular, one that was too trusting and I could have had him for breakfast if I had so desired. Luckily for them, I wasn't in the mood right then for preparing and cooking a rodent.

Well, I continued downtown where I had my usual burgers, followed by Starbucks coffee and espresso brownies until Starbucks closed. Then on to the 5th Avenue Kinko's until their closing at 11PM. This time I had taken a more careful look at maps.yahoo.com's layout of the path between downtown and Hazard Center, where this 24-hour Kinko's is located. 5th to University to Lewis to Bachman Place to Hotel Circle, under Interstate 8, then Camino de la Reina under 163 to Mission Center, and from there to Hazard Center. When I got to where the avenues dead-end on University I was a little confused, getting lost in the medical center, but then went west another block and found myself on Lewis street. But where was Bachman Place? I asked an old man with a neatly-groomed white beard and he didn't know. Fucking liar, I thought, as I went one more block and the sign said Bachman Pl. He didn't know what street he was on? Gimme a break.

Well, as you continue on, there's a sign that shows it's University of California property, No Trespassing, thank you very much. And it looks like you're dead-ending into a parking lot. But I felt good about this, and kept going, and sure enough, after going over the hill there was Hotel Circle. Just before the junction I saw a well-trodden footpath that indicated others, too, knew of this backdoor the Architect had left in the Matrix. A strange thought popped into my head that I was the title character in an as-yet-unwritten Thomas Pynchon novel called The Intrepid Wanderer. These footpaths (which I saw everywhere from the trolley windows, by the way) were the routes of the W.A.S.T.E. postmen. And soon thereafter, I was walking into this Kinko's, less than 2 hours after I had started out. The map was perfect! I had found a way from downtown to Mission Valley!

Now those of you who live in normal cities are probably thinking Ho-Hum. Big fuckin' deal. You can walk from Manhattan to Westchester or all the way to Montauk. Yes, but this is California. Whoever architected these neighborhoods wanted to make sure the lowlifes like me could not easily get into these nice neighborhoods. That little road, Bachman Place, that connects downtown with Mission Valley is a secret that would be hard to find without a good map. You could easily walk for hours, running into fences, mountains, rivers, swamps, and highways without locating a way to walk or bicycle from one neighborhood to the next, as I did the other night. When I had realized that old man had lied to me, I knew I would make it. Everything had just fallen into place after that.

Now to see if my programming will go the same way. Actually I accomplished quite a bit so far today, I got about 80% of the functionality in there, but having a problem making images clickable inside the JTable. That will be my main goal for tonight. Plus I broke something just shortly before I left downtown, which is why I couldn't upload anything to my customer, and got to fix that before anything else. I get a NullPointerException while adding the very first item to the table.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:15:57. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com