There is a place where things are actually green!

…just some thoughts about my trip…

I have flown enough that usually getting the window seat means the privilege of not having people trod on you during a flight in their journeys to the water closet.  I will admit flying into Seattle is different (I do look out the window), I can’t help look at Mount Rainier and think about the slope that motivated the makers of the namesake beer that I consumed quite a bit of after softball games.  Budget beers were the most commonly purchased.  My understanding is that I can never get gout because I have drank plenty of ‘vitamin R’ as we lovingly referred to it.

Outside the snowcapped peaks it is green everywhere.  Green in a way a long-time California resident simply forgets about.  They call Seattle the Emerald City for good reason, because it is knee deep in emeralds and everyone is rich but they could also say that simply due to the color.  No, it was not sunny every day I was there.  It always rains at least once on me when I visit my brother but my last day temps pushed 80 and we hit the golf course.

I was excited to meet my brother’s girlfriend Valerie.  Anyone who can tolerate a Hovde-based life form while still laughing and smiling gets points in my book and over the last few days she had to put up with several Hovdes.  We went to a place called Boathouse 19.  My brother ordered Mac and Cheese (she must like him because people who order Mac and Cheese in public places need to be scrutinized).  He ordered it specifically without bacon.  It arrived with bacon and the staff spent most of the rest of our dinner discounting our bill and giving us free desserts.  We should all be so lucky to have a mistake at our table.

My brother is a pinball machine collector.  The 25th Anniversary Star Trek machine is the one I have powered up for this picture.  The machine was purchased in some distress and has been nearly fully restored.  There are a few wear marks on the play board I would never have spotted without my eyes directed to them and there is a plan to fully fix that as well.  The other machines are Revenge from Mars and Whirlwind and they are all amazing.  New LEDs in the machines and video boards.  For a game-geek this is a little piece of heaven, not only are they pinball machines at home but nearly mint machines with unreal gameplay.  The truth of it is every time I visit I always walk away wishing I played more.  And, YES, I want one!

The trip couldn’t have been easier.  I flew in and out of San Jose.  Why?  Cheap tickets, nice airport.  I am basically over flying out of the local airports (though I like Santa Maria’s).  I really can’t stand the fretting over making connectors, if you just add up the time saved (zero) and consider the probability that a flight out or back could be cancelled or delayed you probably get to where I am on that issue.

San Jose is absolutely fascinating.  A high enough percentage of the travelers are tech industry folks and I hate to say it but I could cast HBO’s Silicon Valley every time I am thru there.  I have been within ear-shot of conversations about API’s and launches and scripts.  It is a gentle blend of geeks and hipsters and sales people all brilliantly smart with every piece of travel-tech you can imagine.  60 year old guy with skinny jeans and Ray Ban designer prescription glasses and a Super NES shirt…check.

I left on a Saturday (there was no one in the airport) and got back Wednesday night (there was no one in the airport).  It doesn’t get much easier than that.

I will say I am glad to be home.  I will take our hippies over those in the Pac NW (there are WAY more up there).  The hipster thing is alive and well, I honestly don’t get it.  If you are 35 with a skateboard I kinda want to see your driving record, but to each his own.  I like the Pac NW, but not more than California.  It’ll be green here someday, right?