January 31, 2015: Visiting Jeff

I got up and did a little writing and posting this morning in the hotel room.  I got lots of sleep last night.  I am liking the opportunity to sleep so healthily.

This afternoon I walked from Seventh and Mission to Sixteenth and Mission, which is a longer walk than it sounds like as those numbered streets are not every street like they are in Manhattan but are just the major roads with little ones in between, to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station there.  This is my first time taking a train anywhere in California, of any type.  The Bay Area is well served by the BART (akin to the subway system), the CalTrain which handles the south side of the Bay from San Jose up to San Francisco and Amtrak’s Capital Corridor which comes in from the capital and runs up the north side of the Bay through Oakland.  The trip to Jeff’s place in San Bruno is just four dollars and for a New Yorker the BART is especially easy as it works almost identically to the NYC Subway system but with an extra ticket scan as you leave the system.

I road the train from the Sixteenth and Mission Station to San Bruno down on the peninsula which took maybe twenty minutes.  It was extremely easy.

Sarah, Jeff’s wife, picked me up at the station and drove me back to their house with is almost exactly two miles from the station.  Very easy.

We hung out this evening.  Jeff and I did some catching up and talking about work. Then we watched the entire first season of Father Ted on Amazon Prime On Demand, which he has never seen before.  He really enjoyed it.  He was looking to start watching the second season as well but discovered that, unlike the first season, the second season is not free.  Our timing is pretty poor because until yesterday Netflix had had the whole thing.  They just had a major disruption in their BBC contract so a ton of the best shows are no longer available on Netflix.

Since there was no more Father Ted to watch I introduced him to the first episode of Coupling which also went over really well.  He will be binge watching that soon, I am sure.

I borrowed Jeff’s car and drove it back to San Francisco, a rather brave thing to do.  Driving a new car with which I am unfamiliar, in the middle of the night, into San Francisco where I have never driven before is no fun.  He has a Kia Optima Hybrid which takes a little getting used to just because I don’t know where any controls are, the GPS is very different from what I am used to and every hybrid feels very different and you need to get used to them.

I struggled to understand the GPS and made a “slightly” wrong turn.  I say slightly because the GPS wanted me to take the hard left at a five way intersection and I made the soft left, mostly because I was unsure if the hard left wasn’t an oncoming one way street and the last thing that I wanted to do was to plough head first into oncoming downtown traffic.

The soft left turn turned out to be Interstate 80 which was past the point of its last exit and, you guessed it, onto the Bay Bridge I went.  So I had the adventure of driving around Treasure Island attempting to get turned back around to get back to the peninsula.  The GPS went completely insane and directly me onto a private military barracks road that led to the top of a very high hill.  I decided that the GPS was useless and gave up on it.  I drove myself back to the highway and managed to get myself back to the city.

I parked the car at the hotel.  I had to drive down to the sub-basement area which only has what appears to be a walkway that a single car can kind of fit down if it is a very small car.  The ramp going down was so small that I wasn’t even sure that a car was supposed to go down it but there was nowhere else for a car to go so I assumed that it was the right place.  I have no idea what you do if someone else is coming or going at the same time.  That would be a disaster.

That was enough of an evening for me.  I got myself into bed and called it a night.