A Moment of Happiness

(This is a forgotten post from last July)
Today was a hard day. A busy day.

Not emotionally hard… just, really full of difficult, mentally challenging work, mixed in with the baseline labor of living – maintaining things, maintaining professional relationships, that sort of stuff.

My plan for the end of the day was to pop over to my boat to give her a shiny ceramic coating, only to discover when I arrived at the marina that I couldn’t park because of Comic-Con (which wouldn’t really start until the next day) – I was pissed, smack-the-steering-wheel pissed. I pulled a u-turn, ready to head back home, when it occurred to me that there was other parking, and indeed I found a nice spot nearby.

I spent the next 3 hours sweatily applying ceramic sealant to Azulita as the sun set. Birds peeked in, music played in the distance, and the polish was turning out spectacularly.

It all came together in a moment of gratitude, and that is when I started feeling happy.

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Recently I was walking around an airport and saw a tech ad for ‘creators’, with a very cool person sitting in front of a very cool audio mixing panel presumably creating very cool things.

Fair enough. It was meant to evoke the urge to create in all of us, especially those who don’t often get too. It certainly did so for me, at least momentarily.

It got me thinking, though… I am a creator, I have been my entire coding life. Coders make beautiful, invisible, tiny, intricate things – the most complex things ever made by humankind. More delicate than spiderwebs, more perplexing than Escher.

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An Amazing Life

I’ve had an amazing life. It’s easy to forget, especially with my fogbrain, but my life has been exceptional, exciting, stimulating. It feels normal to me because it’s always been consistently so, but looking back… wow.

Yes, it’s easy to forget, but from time to time I stumble across triggers that bring it all back. Today, that trigger was a bunch of old directories I peeked into when moving them to a new hard disk – it turned out they were archives of my old websites.

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A Wintery Beach

“Grab some stuff, lets hit the beach”. No bad day ever started with these words. I’m from the Caribbean, where February is just another month, but after living in California nearly 3 decades, you start to appreciate just how special it is to live a few minutes from the Pacific – it keeps us warm in winter, and cool in summer, and is always putting on a show.

The funny thing is that the beach is there every day and the sunset happens nearly every day and we kind of forget about it. The world is a beautiful place, and it’s in our nature to normalize it, to let it fade into the background. I simultaneously envy and pity folks who live on the beach.

So, “grab some stuff, lets hit the beach” we said on some random Saturday, and we did, and it was awesome.

Epic Sailing in San Diego

San Diego has always been a sailing-friendly area – it is part of the Santa Barbara ‘bubble’, which protects us from most of the gale-level winds north of Point Conception (our Cape Horn Jr.), but *occasionally* we get decent wind. Even then, it’s exceedingly well behaved decent wind :)

Here, the compression off Point Loma pushed the wind to 20+ knots, and Azulita loved it. I was able to get her to about 9.5kts, well above her hull speed. Keep an eye on the wake trailing the boat, and the bow wave we’re leaving behind (nothing compared to a motorboat, but massive for me :) )

Why I Love Sailing

There is no facile answer here – I just do. There is a feeling you get when you set your sails just right, anticipatIng a puff a wind, and your boat accelerates under you, that, just… wow. There is nothing like it. Despite how personal this love is for me, I’ll try to capture a bit the ‘why’ of it here.

So, specifically, what is it about sailing that appeals to me?

It’s the complexity of it, I think. You can spend your entire life learning how to sail. I don’t know of anyone who claims to have mastered sailing: not day-sailing shlubs like me, and not world champion skippers like Spithill. There is always something to improve, some bit of delight waiting to reward you for a tweak done right.

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