Cross country trains

As I write this, train number 6 of the California Zephyr line is snaking its way through the rockies along the Colorado river, en route to its destination of Chicago, Illinois. There is no internet access on the train beyond what I can slurp across my tether in between the towns strung across the countryside like so many sparsely distributed dots on a map.

I started my 2015 holiday sometime around 3:45pm on December 16th, where I planned to trek back home to Akron for a few days, jet off to Germany for 31C3, return to Akron for First Night Akron, and be back in The City by the Bay early January. Originally I had intended to attend the Ripple Labs holiday party on that particular Tuesday, but the forces of illness conspired against me and I had a tough time keeping my humors in balance and my stomach from upending itself. Such is life, hmm?

Something I've passively resolved myself to do (passively, since I'm quite terrible at keeping hard commitments that depend on creative energies) is to write a bit more, take more pictures, and document the things I do for others to digest. Much of this has been inspired by an ambitious Burning Man project I'm currently involved with and my want to grow myself in various dimensions within the context of Noisebridge participation.

Until sometime in 2013, writing had been fairly pervasive in my day-to-day activities. Then I stopped. Then I felt guilty that I wasn't writing anymore; as though I was obligated to keep everyone up-to-date with my happenings. This kept me from writing much as I wrestled with this internal conflict since its weird to just start writing again without answering the question "Well just where have you been all this time?".

My problem was that nobody was actually asking that question except for myeslf.


Almost 6 months ago I took a leap of faith and ejected from Akron, Ohio to The City by the Bay. Its been grand, and my life has completely changed for the better. Dozens of new personalities in my life, many of them already forming deep and long-lasting relationships. Others have currently moved into the background, but I cherish the pages and even whole chapters they contributed to the book of my life. I hope one day to see them again; some over the coming weeks I'm back home in the City of Invention.

New Years' Eve is an important holiday for me. It provides a wonderful frame of reference through which I can view the preceeding 365.25 days worth of stuff. A question I ask those around me is "How have I changed and grown in the last year?" The answers are exciting and provide some deeper insight into where I fit. More often than not, hearing another explain me to myself is a humbling and grounding experience.

I recognize that far too often I try to play the responsible one. Martyr syndrome is a real thing that affects me when I convince myself that, yes, I can take on that little bit of extra responsibility. Sure, I do a lot but what harm could doing a little more do, eh?

This year I got totally burnt out. Twice. First when SYNHAK was consuming itself, and second when Noisebridge was on the verge of doing much the same. I do not recommend it. Learning to say No is a valuable skill.

To me, the beginning of a new year offers itself as an opportunity for me to pick apart my obligations from the actual and the perceived. It is more or less a blank slate. A handful of obligations will carry over this year as with any other: My engineering role at Ripple Labs, paying Noisebridge's bills with the money I'm trusted with, keeping a clean house, providing for a happy Boots, staying on top of my financials, and of course Being Excellent to Each Other.

By the 26th of December, I'll be exploring a bit of Germany for 31C3 with part of my ever-growing family. On the 31st I'll be spending good time with another part of this family. My next 365.25 days of adventure starts soon, and I can't wait to see what happens next; some big plans are in the works and maybe at least one of them will come to fruitiion.