Friday, October 31, 2008


"When the last rose of summer pricks my finger,
And the hot sun chills me to the bone,
When I cant hear the song for the singer,
And I cant tell my pillow from a stone,
I will walk alone by the black muddy river,

And sing me a song of my own."

- R. Hunter

Since I finally have some photo capability I thought that I would take some pictures to put up here on the blog. Some day I hope to capture those from my crashed computer. Here is one I took today out the window facing south.

Right now I sit at Avellino's Coffee Shop watching all the little trick-or-treaters walking by, as well as the old Bellingham hippies and the younger Bellingham hipsters. It's funny to be out during the day trying to work when others are playing. (This life takes a unique disipline, which I do not always have. And that explains why I am up many nights till way past midnight.)

I think I might dress up tonight for Halloween. Since I have an old raincoat, boots, baseball cap and sunglasses, I think I will go as a flasher. So if you see (or saw) a creep on a bike riding to Fairhaven on State Street upon gloaming, that's me. It will be fun giving candy to children tonight.

I've got to get back to work. I laughed numerous times at the kids' costumes as they stream by. Tonight should be fun. It rained all morning, but looks like it might be only cloudy tonight. Until April, probably.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have done something that I have never done before – not voted for either of the Big Two. Problem is, there is not much difference between the Dems or Repubs. McBush scares me a leader on both economic and diplomatic issues; and I wouldn't want Palin running my PTA bake sale, let alone my country. Obama, although a great statesman potentially, doesn't really seem fit for what is about to unfold in this country. And Biden's an old Washington insider fart just like McCain – just more of the same.

The trend continues for the wealth to be concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer – I read a statistic stating that income (I would assume this also includes passive income) increased 11% year over year for the top one percent of the population since 2000, while increasing approximately 1% for the remaining ninety-nine percent. Basically, we as a country are losing significant economic ground. Unless you are in the controlling class, that is.

As a protest vote, I voted the La Riva/Puryear ticket. Now I have many issues with socialism, but it is a sad day in our country when the predominant socialist party's views are more aligned with capitalism than the duopolist parties that are ever gravitating closer and closer to crony capitalism or fascism than the capitalism espoused by Adam Smith. So go ahead and call me a commie pinko. But consider that eighty-something percent of Americans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, and at the current pace, and it looks like not a whole lot is being done to change this course. So sad. So sad. But unfortunately most people care not to discuss the state of affairs of this country but instead regurgitate soundbites of the mainstream media pundits.

But believe it or not, it is a pleasant cloudy day in Bellingham, so I am off to drop off my ballot and then to the coffee shop to do some more work; then to a movie and maybe dinner with my housemate. Today is her birthday and tomorrow she is heading back to California with her ugly dog for a few days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Some positive feedback I received from my friend upon writing about my trip back home last we. The writer lives in Lake Winola, Pennsylvania:

"i looked at your blog. not one mention of us here in the home of your childhood. nothing. no pictures of the radios, no pictures of me. not one mention of going to the 'statestreetgrill' or even 'the hole.' you could do a whole blogentry on that alone, rather than the boring drivel i just read there....geeeeez... update that blog and add some good pictures from here. and some positive energy for a change. you are so glum."

What a tough audience.

But right now I am sitting in a coffeehouse trying to restore all the files from my recent backup. Having stepped into a nifty new laptop sure is nice. These ThinkPads are pretty cool. But getting used to a new computer and back up to speed feels like being on crutches.

And I feel that I should be writing more about the political charade that we as a culture are witnessing, but I grew weary of the banter months ago. And at least the new Firefox is pretty cool too. And I'll post some real pictures once I can edit j-pegs or restore my other picture files.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My trusty and diligent Dell Inspiron 2200 that traveled with me all over the country died yesterday. I type this from my work laptop (brand new Think Pad that is stripped down right now) while I decide if I want to buy another crappy product from Microsoft, or go the Apple route. I am amazed that a company as big as Dell only offers a single, shoddy operating system.

Yes, it looks like it will be the low-end Apple Notebook. Twice as much, but I imagine it will be at least half the aggravation of dealing with the instability of Microsoft. Hopefully I will get back running soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Today was a wondrous fall day. We had another impromptu workshop titled Urban Chickens 101, conducted by a friend and resident expert on chickens and permaculture in general. Then over to another friend's place for a pot luck dinner. Usually I cook something, but today I didn't. Instead, I bought a yummy cake at the bakery/cafe last night. Te cakes from La Vie En Rose are always a big hit - whether at a pot luck vegetarian gathering, or a formal dinner party. But the turnout was nice, and it's good to see many of the same people - and new faces - interested in urban gardening.

I've had my chicken coop built for a bit, but may not stock it until the springtime. I've been told the hens lay less in the winter. But I am looking forward to having my own fresh eggs, as once you have fresh local eggs, the others can't really compare.

And it's been getting close to freezing at night, so we turned the gas on today. The summertime gas bills of $4.24 are over. But Magilla likes the gas fireplace insert (I've seen a few others of this same model around Bellingham) as she has a thin, fine layer of fur and seems to get cold easily. Firing it up in the morning for a few minutes can take the chill out of the air.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


There is a place in Bellingham that has all sorts of neat home items discarded from old houses. It's called the ReStore. I went there looking for a door, but instead ended up scoring some (already opened) exterior paint for five bucks that happens to be one of the same colors used on the exterior trim. Painting the worn, but original, wooden storm windows is not too far off in my future. I should put them up while the weather still cooperates. The color is sort of an eggplant, so for the lack of making any decorative decisions, it will stay eggplant.

A beautiful day of nothing more than running errands.

As I sit in La Vie En Rose on Holly Street in Bellingham, someone just popped in Neil Young. They're closing up at six o'clock and it's eleven of, so time to leave. An appropriate song, considering the cloudy Saturday late afternoon as the daylight already begins to dwindle...

"Think Ill pack it in and buy a pick-up
Take it down to l.a.
Find a place to call my own and try to fix up.
Start a brand new day.

The woman I'm thinking of, she loved me all up
But I'm so down today
Shes so fine, shes in my mind.
I hear her callin'.

See the lonely boy, out on the weekend
Trying to make it pay.
Can't relate to joy, he tries to speak and
Can't begin to say."

Friday, October 24, 2008


This will be the first of many entries titled "rain." It was spitting tonight on the way home around 11pm. Not enough for rain gear - I didn't bring it anyway. They say it rains one drop at a time in Bellingham. That was the case tonight. It's funny how people somehow want to drive you and your bike home, and feel like they're doing you a favor. Nights like tonight...well some people will never get it.

Home and fed and looking for a relaxing weekend. A friend e-mailed and will be spending a few nights here. Guests are fun. They're even more fun when they are only staying for two days.

Wondering what I need to do this weekend, I realize that it is rather minimal. Let's hope it stays that way.


My housemate has found increased satisfaction in cooking. And that's alright by me. Tonight after returning from my moonlighting gig, I thought I would partake in the monotony of preparing pasta (and to show the dismal enthusiasm put forth into cooking, I even bought Ragu). Simple. Bland. Quick. A meal upon which I entirely subsisted when working way too many hours in the days of yore. Instead, this evening the refrigerator was chock full of tastily prepared foods, and I quickly remembered how good shrimp tasted.

And I received my ballot today for the election. Since I doubt I will be voting for either of the Big Two, my mind is contemplating which of the other candidates I will cast my vote for. The reason I like Obama is because he has shown that anyone can truly still grow up to be president in this country. And that is heartwarming: that there is still hope in this land of opportunity {sniffle}.

Here is a picture taken July 4th, 2007 on a sailboat out in the bay.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home II

Okay. One last picture from home (or a place I call home where I spent the first few decades of life; I guess Bellingham is now my home - although my life has taken the path of the itinerant searcher for the last decade or so, I think that Bellingham is as good as it gets, and I will probably hang my hat here for quite some time) . These are the Endless Mountains in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and more specifically, Wyalusing Rocks, a picturesque perch high above the Susquehanna River. We visited out here and had lunch nearby at a diner with average food and lots of older church-going folk.

But back in Bellingham, it was a perfect fall day. And most appreciated is the joy of being back to cook in my own kitchen, with the remnants of summer's bounty as ingredients in tonight's stir fry with rice noodles. There is comfort in one's own kitchen. And a friend back east burned me a reggae CD that was a nice overlay to our evening's effort.

Back in my own bed, with an ugly fat dog at my feet. And normal sleep. And no rain tomorrow for biking to my 7am meeting. And another day, another 500-point drop in the Dow 30. I thiknk we have crossed a threshold where 5% daily shifts in the broad markets will not be uncommon. I'm glad that I bailed on equities when I did, as this this down cycle will last a while. And it's a surprise when many people that do this for a living share my sentiments. Like real estate agents, the majority feel it's always a good time to be buying. (Sorry, didn't mean to offend real estate or investment people.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Home Again

It is always the most refreshing thing to return to Bellingham. And as always, the thing that I miss the most on my trips away from here is the ability to ride my bike on a daily basis. I find it incredibly relaxing. Although the east is beautiful in many ways, I find that having to rely upon a car to do everything is quite confining and aggravating. But people (in the millions and millions) submit to that lifestyle so I guess they find it to be satisfying. Or don't know that an alternative exists. For me, it brings stress and causes headaches.

But here is a picture of an old friend of mine that is currently a bigwig at one of the accounting firms in Philly, yet still retains his hipster ways as an established musician and riding around his subdued suburban subdivision (built in the fifties, I believe) on this cool chopper bike. I was able to take it for a cruise through the neighborhood and it almost felt like riding a recumbent. Of all the people in life that have impacted my professional world view - for better and for worse - he has probably been most significant. To think I've know him since the eighties is quite remarkable. But time marches on.

On another note, I did have another story published in the local Whatcom Watch, although it's not online yet. I picked up a few print copies today though. I am sure that you will know when it is published online.

Usually when I return from an energy packed trip of fond memories, I wonder how I could possibly stay there to eek out an existence. The fact that I never have that feeling anymore when I travel makes me realize that I have finally found some inner peace here in Bellingham. It's great to be home. I never thought I would miss drizzle and clouds (although today was a nice day - the lingering of fall).

Monday, October 20, 2008


Here is where I began my illustrious career - the K-Mart in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. Today was a day of reminiscence. I hadn't been in this wonderful bastion of Mother Capitalism for at least twenty years. And the view from the parking lot was unforgettable. But it, like some things in Scranton, is totally different; other things in this town haven't changed since I left years ago.

And another thing that hasn't changed is the horrendous road construction traffic on I-81. Now I have been all over the US (all the lower forty-eight) and never have seen the back-ups (miles and miles) due solely to road work. I was told it sometimes takes hours to get through these construction zones. Amazing.

But it is time to head south. I am writing from one of my favorite haunts in Scranton - the Northern Lights Espresso Bar on the Courthouse Square in Downtown Scranton. I am really looking forward to getting home, although sleep tonight will probably be fragmented due to my 5:45am flight tomorrow. And it looks like this sun and cool weather will join me upon my return to Bellingham tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I must admit, the foliage was more vivid in the lower part of the state than the upper. I was told that latter received less rain,which was a cause of the less colorful leaves. But it was still a nice time to visit, with not a cloud in the sky today. This picture is taken coming down Summit Hill (I think it's called) from Clarks Summit, a road that I drove (or rode) thousands of times in my youth.

But many of my friends of youth are now with children, and I return to my home with expectation of graping at the old memories of a less complicated time. But life keeps marching along, and I realize that my efforts of these nostalgic pursuits can be futile, and lonely at times. It's time to return to Bellingham, and in less than thirty-six hours I will be on my way back to my home and life to which I've assimilated and grown to love in the Pacific Northwest. And I will even trade the sun for the rain. And a good cup of coffee.

Tomorrow I hope to schedule a few more last minute appointments and then back to Philly for my flight home, where there is plenty of follow-up work awaiting me. And the many dinners and parties that seem to bring the people of Bellingham back inside - those that have scattered asunder with their varying summertime activities - for the winter get togethers.

Friday, October 17, 2008


What a week. Today is a day to decompress. I dropped my colleague off this morning at the Philly airport after marathon meetings yesterday all over the New York Metropolitan area. Some day I may tell you the impossibility of crossing onto I-278 East from certain lanes of the Tri-Borough Bridge which dropped us into the Bronx, but not right now. And I could tell you about another scrape with the law while making an illegal left turn on 42nd Street. ("Get outta here. This one's on the house," the cop told me in his thick New York accent.) Considering that I don't own a car, my driving nonchalance has created an inordinate number of run ins with the law lately. I need to watch my step.

But the vigor and energy of New York City is second to none. And I forgot about this over the years, but quickly remembered it when being dropped into the midst of Midtown Manhattan for our first meeting at the Waldorf Astoria. Later in the day found us in Westport Connecticut, a town I could easily call home. I forgot about the beauty of New England in the fall. And believe it or not, the people in towns like this, and in New York in general, are much less pretentious that what you might find in places like Bellevue, Washington. (The class of old East Coast money trumps that of the West Coast nouveau riche any day.)

But the picture was taken last night in Times Square. Note my blank expression. I was spent. The woman in the picture is a business acquaintance that we had dinner and drinks with. And some day I will describe the beautiful and stylish women abounding in New York, second only to those of Paris. Many, many memories were created on this trip, including the attractive woman with a foreign accent that gave me some M&M's at the ATM ("it's not every day that I take candy from strangers in Times Square," I told her).

I write today from a Panera Bread in Levittown, Pennsylvania, looking forward to getting back to my home and life in Bellingham. Cities are great, but the suburbs are all the same. In my travels, I've been to a thousand strip malls like the one in which I am currently sitting.

Whenever you have magical moments in a city (like New York) the memories dance in your head and you wonder how you could somehow make it in a place like that. But right now I miss Bellingham more, and look forward to getting home. A few more days to relax in my home town of Scranton, PA, then hopefully back to Bellingham on Tuesday. I cannot wait to ride my bike and cast aside this rental car, although it is a Volvo upgrade...a total score.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here is a picture taken of the Laurel Highlands on the way across the turnpike last Sunday. I forgot how beautiful and awesome the leaves are at this time of year. Some years are better, and some are not. This year is truly remarkable.

Since Sunday, we were in Pittsburgh, then Cleveland, back to Pittsburgh, then off to a small town near Reading this morning, a meeting in Philly today, then on to New York City and Connecticut tomorrow. Then a weekend of relaxation after dropping my colleague off at the airport in Philly.

Tonight I am writing from the Meadowlands in New Jersey - a place where I saw five or six Grateful Dead concerts in another life. The past few days has been a blur, and forgetting what city you are in is not an uncommon incident. I forgot how fun it is to wear a suit and suspenders.

It was good to see the debate tonight and it looks like all the news services are writing off McCain already. Even FOX News. It's quite uncommon to see that. But with the socialization of the banking industry, the market continues to get beat up. Maybe we should also socialize the retail industry. I still think even worse times still lie ahead. What an exciting time to be launching a business. Sorry that my writing is fragmented, but my mind is abuzz with thoughts and things to do before I sleep. Getting into the city can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, it will be just after rush hour.

Chance are, I will not be writing again tomorrow. Hopefully Friday.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Today another busy day. Meetings in Pittsburgh, then on to Cleveland. I was able to stick some personal time in there to visit family in both places. But I am tired tonight and tomorrow afternoon we return to Pittsburgh for a conference we cam across on the web earlier. What a score, as this is exactly what we were looking for - and opportunity to meet many of the similar industry players in Pennsylvania.

Both Cleveland and Pittsburgh have its beautiful locations, including this spot down the north coast where I spent many weekends anchored under the Perry Monument. Great weather that will be getting colder and cloudier as the week progresses. Rainy weather, so I've been told, in Bellingham. But I miss it and in a week will be returning home. Seems like I've been gone a long, long time, and it's only Tuesday. Or wait - Monday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I was lucky to arrange my trip back to Pennsylvania when the fall foliage was peaking, or close to it. Philly was still a few days or weeks off. But traversing the state via the PA Turnpike was a spectacle of reds and yellows and oranges. And the temperature was in the mid seventies the whole way. Last night we stayed at a place off the turnpike among the rolling hills on the fringe of the

Not too much time tonight. A meeting today, another tomorrow and then on to Cleveland. We were lucky to enjoy a Philly cheese steak (I had cheese fries) and then today for a Primanti's sandwich in Pittsburgh. I wonder what is in store for us tomorrow in Cleveland?

I didn't take this picture, but I should post one tomorrow. Problem is, it's in the camera, which is in the rental car in valet parking. We cored when they upgraded us to a Volvo from the usual cheapo econo-box.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I didn't think it would happen so soon, but the East Coast beckons for business and I shall return there this weekend for ten days or so. I really would like to stay here in Bellingham, but getting away for a few days is enough for me to miss the onset of dreariness for the foreseeable future in the Pacific Northwest.

But tonight is a night where I need to do some ironing and pack my big 1960's vintage suitcase for ten days on the road. I bought it at my neighbors' garage sale last year. Usually I can pack lightly, but not this trip. Tomorrow around noon we leave SeaTac for Philly.

My writing may be scattered over the next few days, but stories from far away from Bellingham are sure to follow. Ports-of-call include Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philly and New York. And Scranton too, where I lived much of my life. Which reminds me, I need to pack a camera.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Born To Beguiled

be·guile tr.v. be·guiled, be·guil·ing, be·guiles
. . .4. To pass (time) pleasantly.

This was a picture taken of the people I work with after a team meeting some day in the recent past (oh yeah...yesterday) outside my house. Two others rode (one being the picture taker), and only two drove. The days are blurring together.

And the fact that it is frightfully cold this week so far. (4* Celsius right now, and the reason I tell the temperature in Celsius is because that's what the bottom of the computer shows. But that's around 40* Fahrenheit.) I may need to breakdown and turn the heat on. Ramping up for a trip back east for business. Cut the hair. Get the Joseph Banks suit out; the BB shirts; the Johnston & Murphy's wingtips. I miss the regimented work week sometimes. Oh no I don't - who am I kidding?

Ten days is enough time away from Bellingham to really miss it, even the damp cold. (But don't even get me started on the hail and downpour today.) And of course the housemate and ugly dog will be missed too, the moment the plane touches the sky.


A life back to normal. Busier than I'd like, but when I am complaining about not getting my eight hours of regular sleep, things cannot be that bad.

I do not know why I put that picture to the left. Maybe because I am neck deep with a local company that has been a life changing experience. As you muddle through life for years that turn into decades (and you wonder why you are doing what you are doing - feeling not unlike Sisyphus) and suddenly you look back upon the path you've taken, it all makes sense. I might be at that point right now. Many, many things are happening in work right now, but I usually do not use this space to go into detail. Instead I choose to talk about sunsets, motorbike rides, cycling and an ugly dog.

Another day, another triple digit loss in the Dow 30, and life is as usual. Considering roughly three quarters of the GDP is driven by consumer spending, the worst is yet to come. And considering that Christmas is when most retail sales occur, it will probably be a gloomy holiday season. My guess is a lot of media exposure on "low-key" gift giving this year. I know I probably will.

A quite cold day today (4* Celsius right now) but riding home tonight in wool and thermals, and still perspiring. Too early for wool, I guess.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


So my friend came and visited us for the week. He was from Cleveland and infused his eastern vitality upon our otherwise quiet little home. It's always great to have visitors, but I also realize the longer I live in a mellow little seaside town in the Pacific Northwest, the more that my day-to-day lifestyle has become less stressful. Living in a town where 80% of the residents make less than $18/hr indeed has its pitfalls and elements of anxiety, but overall, a simple life is quite alright.

The picture to the right is where we met for coffee today to get some work done. Actually, the picture is from The Herald. I happened to run across it today online (as I have been rather remiss about taking pictures lately) and also happened to have coffee at this cafe - Caffé Adagio - here this afternoon. I believe it's the closest coffee house to my home and I thin kit's one of the nicest in town...and they make a great Americano.

Tonight was a ride home reminding me of winter's onset. Auriga and Pleides are rising in the eastern sky, and a brisk breeze put a chill in the air. Time to relax before traveling this weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Home again in Bellingham. Thankfully. An uneventful day spent on the phone. We broke away for the evening movie ("Up The Yangtze") at The Pickford. And the picture above isn't from a homeless camp in Bellingham, but of the family that was the subject of a touching quasi-documentary about their displacement by the Three Gorges Dam.

Traveling again this week. Back east. And soon, I believe that I might have an article published in a local paper. I just haven't been to town to get the October issue yet. And it's not online yet either.

Not much more happening here. Rain, clouds and later wind. Refreshing.

Vancouver II

Vancouver is a remarkable city. I wish more US cities could emulate the vibrancy and energy of a city with striking and bold new architecture and people clamoring to live in their downtown high rises. An interesting article compares Seattle to Vancouver - the former (in my opinion) turning into another behemoth overcrowded and poorly planned city of bland and soulless architecture and disappearing public space. Visit Vancouver and you see a striking contrast to many US cities. An interesting article article further describes this contrast.

But spending a day and night in sparkling Vanc was great. The youthful bustling nightlife reminded me of being in Montreal. And we scored a cheap motel/hotel right in town on Burrard that was very retro, yet inexpensive. Things that surprised me include the number of openly drunk kids (eighteen, I believe, is the drinking age), including the young Asian girl in an very expensive Acura that blew through a traffic light and came inches from hitting me; the number of homeless (not just down-and-out, but mentally incapacitated); and the fact that there were few places that could be found serving a decent breakfast. But the city bustles and I look forward to my next visit here. I'll take Vancouver over Seattle any day.

But on a sadder note, the train ride (which was very mellow and relaxing) struck and killed a bicyclist on the way home. The train needed to stop for a few hours at this crossing while an investigation was conducted. Many of these collisions are suicidal, I've been told. Not this one. But we got home around midnight, so it was quite a long few days. But fun.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Tomorrow we are heading up to Vancouver - the site of the 2010 Olympics, and the draw that will cast the media spotlight upon Bellingham (the closest US city to the south) and turn our beloved town into the next Mecca for retirees and anyone else looking to relocate to a city with seven months of drizzle. And if that doesn't entice them, then the multi-hour border lineups will certainly work. Basically all businesspeople here are banking on the effect of the Olympics on Bellingham. I personally like this town the way it is, and see no real improvement in the quality of life being enhanced by more sprawl and pavement and tacky architecture. If our city has trouble operating responsibly on what money it has, why would anyone think this problem would be solved by the need to offer more services on incrementally more revenues? But I digress.

Busy day, and looking forward to taking the train into Vancouver. The train ride is about the same amount of time I've spent sitting at the border, so relaxing and looking out the window should be quite pleasurable. I haven't taken Amtrak in years. And the round trip price is only $42, about the same amount I'd pay in gasoline. And what price can one put on inept border guards and the tedium of driving the same stretch of highway with the same angst-ridden drivers? The train should be a good time.

Oh, and the picture was downloaded from the internet. Definitely not the weather for Vancouver tomorrow. Clouds and rain tomorrow, and a bit of sun on Sunday. I won't be writing until Sunday, as my computer shall remain stateside.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I usually write every day. Some type of drivel. But not last night. There was just not enough time in the day, with our visitor arriving on Amtrak around nine. But having a guest from back east is wonderful. But the longer I live in a relaxed town like Bellingham the more I realize that I too have become more mellow. And with that I am okay.

Entertaining is fun, and you sometimes you forget living in a beautiful place until guests bring it to your attention. And you also just shrug your shoulders when they comment on how it looks like it's going to rain and your response is "yeah, probably," as you head outside realizing that getting wet is not so bad. And the rain today was refreshing, watching from a table at Avenue Bread. Although the sun poked through, but my guess is that the clouds will be for, oh, the next six months or so.

Another picture above taken of the front of the house a few months back.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


"Call me elitist, but I'd take a Shiraz with Obama over a 6-pack with Palin ANY day." - A friend in San Francisco from Clarks Summit quoted from her Facebook

So this Tuesday was a day where my anxieties ran a bit high. But fortunately there are people (including your housemate) upon whom you can unload your drama. And fortunately my stress level in Bellingham is nothing like that which I experienced in past lives. Much of that was self induced, and changing the many lifestyle factors also helped (the biggest by far is not having a car and needing to bike everywhere). The day that I cannot freely bike to my destination of choice will indeed be a sad day.

Speaking of housemates, here is a picture she took a few months back before the snapdragon shriveled up due to my inattentiveness (including lack if watering). That's her cool bike in the background.