Trainblogging again
Thursday, Sep 17, 2009
This morning I find myself on a CalTrain heading from Mountain View to San Francisco. For those of you long-time readers, you know that riding on the train is a special treat for me, and that the year I spent at Yahoo back in 2001 was probably the best blogging year of my life, as 60 minutes of uninterrupted (and back then, unwired) time in an Amtrak car speeding (when not lumbering) down the East Bay was the most productive writing environment I've known. Today I'm attending UX Week in the city, hence the CalTrain ride. I'd intended on catching the 8:13 train from Sunnyvale but my body would have none of it, and I'm glad that its sominal filibuster was only sufficient to force me to catch the 8:37 out of Mountain View. Still, no Chai, no nostalgic cranberry scone. Nostalgia would not lose the day however, as I drove my way to and past the (former) FriendFeed Global World Headquarters to pull in to the CalTrain lot with 10 minutes to spare. No spaces though (apparently the 8:37 train is on the lazy end of the morning commute. Ugh, that real working world, I want no part of it!) and so I pulled back out of the lot and drove a block back, pulling in to my regular space at the (f)FFGWHQ. Now 6 minutes to spare. You'd expect the FriendFeed lot to be empty, but pulling in you'd be hard-pressed to notice that the office was FriendFeed in nameplate only. The parking spaces in front of for Eye-Fi and Evernote were similarly barren (as they're not part of the 'real working world' either) save for one car accompanied by a cross-legged man cradling his laptop by Evernote's side entrance. Clearly today the first one to the office wasn't the one with the keys and alarm code. As I pulled in, got out, and strode out of the lot to the station, I entertained a perverse desire for the laptopped man to chide me and tell me that I couldn't park there for CalTrain (parking is limited and this has been a problem in the past). "How do you know I don't work for," glancing back at the sign on the door next to the space I just parked in, "Friend... Feed?" I was all ready to say, doing my best job of bad acting. Sadly my double-bluff was not called and I could only spend the rest of my short walk to the tracks imagining laptop man digging himself into a hole "I know you don't work there because I do." "Oh yeah? That's funny. I don't remember you. What do you work on there?" Laptop man never enabled me to retort. I am a simple man who amuses himself too easily. Back on tracks, walking to the ticket dispenser just as I can hear the train approaching behind me. I pays my money and I gets my ticket, pulling it out along with three sacabucks just in time to turn around and step on to the train. (Can you believe that term never took off? I wonder how much better the coin might have caught on if the U.S. Mint had sold the naming rights, slapped a mermaid on the obverse and called them 'starbucks') Perfect travel involves being exactly on time, never early or late (unless your connection is also late, in which case you are beyond perfection). I'm surprised by how much room there is on the train, but again with missing the morning rush. I went to eagerly pull out my Kindle which I'd taken off my nightstand in preparation for a nice leisurely read during today's ride, only to find that it had never made it in to my bag. Pulling out my laptop instead, I fired up the text editor and started writing. For all the old ritual this morning was walking me through, how could I have thought of doing anything else? It's like I don't even know me. Now I've got a day in the city to look for. True, most of it will be in an overly-chilled banquet hall sitting in an ass-numbing chair, but hearing people talk about their craft always inspires me to do more with my own craft, both in work and play. UX Week (UX Day to me, as today's the only day I'm going) is also nice in that it gives 90 minutes for lunch, affording me the opportunity to visit friends in the city. I'm hopefully lunching with Jason Shellen today, and returning the Manfrotto monopod I borrowed and took to Antarctica. If I'm lucky I might even be able to visit the Twitter offices that I've just missed seeing so many times. Time to pack it up now. Maybe I'll write more on the way home tonight. Definitely gonna have to pick up a chai on my walk from the station to the hotel. I wonder if there'll be any scones left.
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Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
I can be reached at .

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I'm co-founder in
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I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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