This set of pictures takes you from January through June, right before the pool is set to open. Walking by this pool and taking pictures is a thing with me. It’s a solitary pursuit.
This is my local community pool. I know, it’s not a natural body of water, like a creek or a spring, but I like to see how it looks over the seasons. I’ve taken many pictures in the course of my walks. It’s a thing with me – walking by this pool. I’ve made a path through the snow in the winter, to get up the stairs to the landing so I can look at the pool and take pictures. What does this say about me?
The economy is in terrible shape, jobs are hard to get if you don’t have one, and there’s a lot of scary stuff in the world. Even though my situation is less stable than before (looking for work will do that to you) – I realized that I am somewhat optimistic about the future – not as optimistic as some people I know (Hi Miki!) but reasonably optimistic. I see the same world as other people, but I think that my life, and the lives of the people around me, even the economy, will get better. I kind of see the glass as half full rather than half empty.
This isn’t a discussion about whether this is a correct or incorrect view, but in how we see the world. Sometimes I think that being optimistic has to do with the fields we are in, the work we do. Working for a tech company (like I did in the past) – it makes you optimistic.
There’s something about being in the tech world that makes you think that the future is full of possibilities, and you can do your part to figure it all out. Not only will you be happy, but, whatever you are working on, it’s going to make the world a better place, and even the non glamorous tech stuff is just so darn great! For some idea of what this is like, read the latest copy of PC World, quickly. Skim through it. Focus on the mood, the vibe, the feeling. Even when the writers at PC World are, understandably, complaining about the latest tech thing that isn’t working, you get the feeling that tech is swell! Tech is swell, and so the rest of the world must be swell too, because tech is in it! There’s a sense of optimism, a belief that the world is a good place.
Sometimes you see this happening in B-School – MBA land, though less often, recently. Perhaps it has to do with the idea of control, that you can do something to make things better and you can make a good living too. I enjoy the belief that you can make things good in the world and not suffer.
Then there’s the quality of the light, and good weather. In my admittedly limited experience the people from my life in California were more optimistic than not about the future. Since tech (and at the time a better economy) is threaded all through my time in California, I can’t separate out the tech optimism and the better economy from the optimism that comes with the wonderfulness of California. I like to think that being in the land of amazing natural light, low humidity, outdoor natural beauty and outdoor comfort – it makes you a happier and more optimistic person. I like to think that the Pacific Ocean and a Mediterranean climate make a person happy. I have absolutely no idea if this is so. Perhaps I would like it to be so, or perhaps that’s just how it was with me. California brought me a life of promise and a life of wonder, though of course there was also the not great stuff that we all have in our lives. You can read my blog post to see what I thought about California – http://amarez.com/2009/07/19/leaving-my-california/
The challenge is to keep that wonder and promise in my new life, not because it’s good or right, but because I want to do so. Can I still feel wonder and promise while living in eastern Pennsylvania (for now, might end up in New Jersey or Delaware). I think so. We’ll see.
Here are some photos on the quality of light.
A sparkling creek in Pennsylvania, near where I live now. What an interesting reflection.
Sunset in the Palo Alto Baylands.
Went for the day to Ocean City, New Jersey, with a family member. I love the ocean!
I also like the local swimming pool, the best community pool I’ve ever been to, ever. Swimming (when it’s not raining) in the summer weather of heat and humidity – great fun! Don’t let the clown trash container fool you. Look at that lap lane – this is a wonderful pool!
Winter can be cold and dreary in the northeast, where my parents live. Sure, there are some sunny days, but much of the time the weather is cold and cloudy. I’m not much of a winter person – I love the California coastal weather. As the years pass, my parents are, less and less, winter people. They love the weather in California.
Decades ago my parents closed in their back porch. The room is not large, but it’s wonderfully cosy, There is space for a small dining area, comfortable couches, stereo speakers, and many plants filling the large windows. It’s like a solarium. They spent a lot of time there, particularly in winter. It makes you remember that there are still growing things in the world – memories of California, Italy and Hawaii.
Here are three plants, nestled comfortably against the window, getting some sun. The left one is a rosemary bush (I think ) with a few purple oxalis that managed to sneak their way into the pot. The center plant is a miniature rose. The right plant is unknown. It was blooming outside in the snow and my mother dug it up – she thought it deserved to live. My mother can grown anything.
This is Fall, where I live. It rained yesterday, but it’s sunny today. It’s not warm enough for swimming – well, maybe if the pool was heated!
Some trees change colors, and some don’t. Some deciduous trees keep their leaves. Most of the trees and plants are not native to California (just like me!), so the effect can be a little strange. It’s so wonderful, but at the same time you look around and ask yourself “where the heck am I”?
I wanted to get myself a treat, so when I was in my local Longs Drug Store (sells way more than drugs) I ran across an inexpensive portable weather station. The weather station consists of two parts: a wireless thermometer that you leave outside, and an inside unit. The inside unit displays inside and outside temperature, the date and time, and min and max temperature. There is a backlight and an alarm feature, which I don’t use. The inside and outside pieces can be separated by a maximum of 100 feet, 30.48 meters.
Here is a picture of the weather station. As you can see, the inside and outside pieces don’t register exactly the same temperature.
I put the outside device outside, near my door, hidden by one of the containers of my container garden. The outside device will run a little warm because it’s next to a wall, protected from the elements. I get no end of pleasure looking at the inside and outside temperative!
You might wonder – why do I bother? I can open my door and see what the weather feels like. I’m in and out all the time. I know that, but I love looking at something that reinforces my addiction to the wonderful and magical weather where I live, the San Franciscso Bay area (not SF itself), northern coastal California. The temperature doesn’t vary all that much, which makes it so comfortable. I love seeing how it cools down at night, even during the warm season. The weather station doesn’t report humidity, but if it did, I’d see that the humidity is generally low. I love California.
amarez – mszv
I live in the land of perfect weather, here in coastal California – a town on the peninsula south of San Francisco, to be exact! It almost never freezes. It’s mild in winter, warm in summer but with cool nights. Did I also say it wasn’t humid? The weather is perfect.
Once in awhile the weather changes and it’s hot. Hot as in high 90s (F) and warm even at night. That’s when I run my portable air conditioner in my bedroom, and that’s when we all complain about the heat.
But – there is night swimming!
Yes, the first photo, below, looks a bit mysterious, even spooky. There used to be lights in our pool, but there aren’t lights anymore. But – there is light all around, so it’s fine. I’m not the only person who enjoys that rare wonderful night swim.
All for now,