O, to be a Troll Again

Oh, how I do miss gaming. I reckon the time will come when it will be possible again. I just hope that, when it does, I will be able to afford the time and the brain cells will still be therew.

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Lizard Lair LAX

The wonders of business travel fade quickly, and after thirty years of it I find myself working harder to keep the process from draining my mental and spiritual reserves.

Airline lounges are hardly novel (they have been around for almost as long as paid passenger air travel,) but their continued evolution is a joy. Thirty years ago, when I first found myself elevated into business class by a thoughtful employer, the Singapore Airlines lounge at LAX was little more than 200 square foot windowless room with soft lighting, chairs, and some soft drinks.

Today in many parts of the world, lounges look more and more like WeWorks, with WiFi, plugs, light buffet service, full bars, and even showers. There are places to eat, sleep, bathe, work, and watch a little TV. Almost, in other words, all the comforts of home: enough to take one’s mind off of the stressful process of travel and engross it in something more worthwhile.

For me, they are my place to get a few last things done before the plane takes off. I can no longer work on planes for reasons too convoluted to discuss here. On a typical trip I’ll have anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours to do just enough to buy me time to get to the other end of my trip. It is almost always enough.

Creativity gets a boost for me as well in these places. Of the two books I have written, a surprising proportion has been written in these spaces, so much so that I actually put All Nippon Airways in the acknowledgements of my last book. So more than just sanctuary from the unpleasant preliminaries of trans-oceanic flight, lounges for me are temples of intense and deeply satisfying focus.

My GeekWatch

Of all of the watches that I can afford, this one remains my favorite. I’m now on my third Casio ProTrek. No, they’re not legacy watches. They only last about ten years or so. But the last one I owned I literally wore everywhere, including some shallow scuba dives, and it only needed service when I took it below 20 meters too many times.

Don’t tell my wife this, but I’ve never been a Swiss luxury watch kind of guy, and the Apple Watch just seems like overkill. Between my Casio ProTrek and my Garmin Fenix3, I’ve got all of the timepieces I’ll ever need, geek watches for the outdoors inclined.

 

Sycamore Canyon Sunrise

The Moon hovers over the ridge as it turns over the watch. Sunlight touches Outlook Peak at 7am, but down in the canyon we shiver in the cold and I regret crawling out of my sleeping bag.

(Especially as the new tent and cot gave me the best night’s sleep I have ever enjoyed while camping.)

Camping is pure therapy, an antidote to the tyranny of the to-do list.