Unlike warm summer days in Seattle, the Bay Area temperatures seem to dip into the lower sixties. Wind, fog, etc., make it feel even colder.
I headed out to Sausalito tonight to eat at a restaurant that calls itself Fish. which is located right next to a marina on the north end of town. Their thing is sustainable fish, organic foods and simple presentation. You order at a counter, it's cash only, and you drink drinks out of mason jars. The deck was quite cold at 8PM, and several diners had cheap gray blankets, provided by the wait staff, to keep warm in the wind. I kept warm enough in my bike jacket. To the south, fog was rolling in and covering San Francisco like another gray blanket. There was at first bit of a glow in the grass in Tiburon, then the hills turned into purple silhouettes.
I had kayaked out there back in October. I recalled the wind, the whitecaps, and the capsized paddler.
I also felt inspired back then to spend the night, after work, on Angel Island. I could drive 30 minutes to the water, put in, paddle for another 30, pull my boat up, and sleep under the stars on some grassy bench. Then, soon after sunrise, pack up, and head back. I'd be at work before 9AM, before anybody else in engineering showed up. Though I realized I really need a kayak rack to minimize the tear-down and setup time. And I'd certainly need to get out before the evening fog and leave after the fog lifted.
It was odd last year. After I got back from kayaking, I was called by a recruiter in Seattle, looking for smart programmers for Pelago. I ended up working for a safe, and somewhat stuffy company, and Pelago first sounded exciting, but ended up sounding pretty dumb: "We'll go behind the carrier's back and release ad-supported content." "Our service will be freely distributed." And as a qualifying review of my abilities, asked me to work on really what felt like a homework project, but was open-ended and time consuming. Hitomi told me to stop wasting my time. Anyway, there I was at night, putting my folding kayak away in some parking lot, talking to a recruiter, trying to convince him that, no, I'm not particularly interested, but if it isn't too much of a bother, let me know.
Fish. was introduced to me by a self-proclaimed asshole working in QA. He actually prides himself on making programmers cry. The CTO — again today — asked him to stop being so mean. Having chatted with him this evening is probably why I found myself back there. Back when he visited from Calgary, perhaps that same October, we had lunch on the deck again. I had some fairly lofty goals in improving one of the main components, the UPMPC, and actually talked up what I had planned with him and another in QA. Though, what turned out to be just a week's work to fix the biggest deficiencies such as being able to monitor and manage the system, all my changes have been postponed. Such is life in a large company.
I ate a similar dish to the last time. Becoming Japanese (sort of) has gotten me into eating small little fishies, which are typically richer tasting and fattier than big boring white fish. So, this time, like last time, I had Monterey Bay sardines. This time, there were four or five filleted, spread on an enormous bed of pasta, accompanied with some roast corn and a beer.