30 May 2007


  • May 30, 2007


It says something about our society.

On the BART in the morning, just over 50% of the passengers on any given car are asleep, or trying to sleep, or trying not to sleep, or at least resting with their eyes closed and their heads leaned over.

Sacrificing sleep in order to start the business day an hour earlier - every single day.
Why is this required, and why do we allow it? Is that much money really made between 7am and 8am?

Of course I am on that train too, in order to see it; but then that's because my job is a service specifically to commuters. So I have to be there before the commute. All those people on the train at 6am can't all have jobs specific to commuters.
And, well, in my case, something about skating 2.5 miles to BART while listening to Shock G and the DU as the sun comes up, it just makes it feel different. I actually enjoy my commute, even when I'm tired.

Look at these faces: they are not happy faces. Even without the loss of sleep, they are not happy faces.

I remember my bike trip through Mexico almost a decade ago now. It wasn't like this.
I would come across a store or a restaurant. The sign, if there was one, might say they opened at 9. But whether or not it was actually open at 9, that seemed to depend more on whether or not the owner felt like opening by then or not than what the sign said.
Which could be a little annoying when I had just ridden 15 miles and was looking forward to breakfast, but even then, I understood, I still liked that system better.

Money is to support living, instead of life being a means to make money.

28 May 2007

Like a mountain stream

  • May 28, 2007

Like a mountain stream

following the path of least resistance

gravity will take you down, with no effort on your part

no effort is always attractive

but you end up lost in the vast ocean

or at the bottom of the deepest chasm

only then will you rest

and to get to better place you must hike all the way back up

when had you taken the effort to control your direction from the beginning, the path would have been shorter

to reach the peak takes effort

effort rewarded

taking the path of least resistance, like a mountain stream,
you may not end up where you want to

27 May 2007

Guess who just did his first one handed pull up?

  • May 27, 2007

Guess who just did his first one handed pull up?

Oh hell yes!

And to think, so much money, so much time wasted on gym memberships and working out.
When all I had to do was start working as a mover/hauler.

Ok, ok, I admit it
It wasn't really a proper pull-up.
It was what the junior high school gym teacher referred to as a 1/2 pull-up, so that he didn't have to give out so many zeros during the annual fitness test. 
(Back then there were a lot of halves, ones, occasionally a two.  I used to pop off 10 or 15...)
Not the entire range of motion, from full extension to full contraction.
I can go from either full extension to half way, or half way to full contraction, but not quite both at once.

But this is sure the closest I've ever come!
I'm pretty happy with it.
Give me a couple months with my new in home pull-up bar, and...

26 May 2007

Free stuff for everybody

  • May 26, 2007

Free stuff for everybody

I am tired of having stuff in my driveway.  I made enough off of picking them up and the stuff that sold quick
Ignore the prices listed.  With the exception of the grill, if you see anything you have a use for, mention this blog, and its yours. 

*update: this is the current link*

25 May 2007

I understand sleeping with the TV on

  • May 25, 2007

I understand sleeping with the TV on

Some sleep with the TV on every night.
Once in a while may not mean anything, but every night, that is unmistakable.

Others are more subtle

Insomnia.  Some part keeps saying 'what are you doing trying to sleep when you could be using this time to go look for it?'

Drinking; a lot. Exceptions include alcoholics and college  students.
Most other drugs too, same thing.

Excess exercise.  You can tell them from the truly health conscious because they will work out even when sick, injured, or sore from last time, when exercise is not healthy, and probably counter-productive. They know that it is, but feel compelled none the less.

Overtime which is not really needed financially.

Volunteering so much that it displaces all or most personal life.  Hard to distinguish between those who really care, because surely that's a factor for everyone, and there are no concrete lines to draw.

Singular obsessions of nearly any kind.  This I don't know so much about, I could not tell which instances were this, and which were simply neurosis

It may involve constant (but primarily or exclusively superficial) social interactions, or it may be a complete withdrawal from social life.

Just, one way or another, filling all of ones time, never allowing for down time, for rest.  It doesn't make any difference what that time is filled with, if it feels imperative that it be something, every moment.
Every type 'A' personality is unsatisfied.  There is something they need to get, something they need to achieve or to find or to prove which they know they will never be able to.

Its all the same.  We know we are missing something.  We don't want to admit it to ourselves.  We don't want to think about it.
Some are in such deep denial that they don't even know there is anything to look for, have no idea that their activities are a coping mechanism.  They rationalize it, "this is just what I enjoy doing".  They really don't know.

I know exactly what I am missing. 
Sometimes I envy the ones who don't, but in the end, I don't really think it makes them happier.  It just means they end up throwing away the chance when it comes by, because they'd rather keep up the illusion than risk having to feel.  They'd rather go without than risking finding it and losing it again.

But is a guaranty of acceptable really worth a chance at excellent?

This may be most of us.  What it is we are each missing in our lives, they may be totally different for each of us, they may have nothing in common.  It doesn't matter.  The feeling is the same.  The actions we take to deal with it when we have no control are all the same.

Sleeping with the TV on can mean many things, but it always means that there is something which you are afraid to let yourself think about.  There is something which is hard to repress without distraction.

Me, I can't sleep with the TV on.  When I first noticed this habit in others, I recognized it for what it was, but I really didn't sympathize. 
I wonder if I could learn to sleep with it on. 

After all, I have such a nice flat panel TV in the bedroom...

23 May 2007

I HAVE to have a subject line, MySpace says so

  • May 23, 2007

I HAVE to have a subject line, MySpace says so

the human mind is just so strange

dare you ever feel the slightest confidence that you have "figured it out", it'll show you a thing or two

If all the most important things are crumbling, how does that justify this sense of contentment, actually joy.
One or the other, they could compensate, but both at once, I should be inconsolable.
And yet. Next? No idea. And yet. Music in my brain. Feeling the present. And its ok.

Even the guy just now, I can't stay mad at him, even crazy people have to ride bikes. Must be hard to go through life convinced that you are "black-listed", that everyone is after you. As obnoxious as he was, and even with the threats, I mostly feel sorry for him.

I've been crying from TV shows and movies. Drama, comedy, sometimes cartoons. From bad moments and good. What the hell is that about?
I am not the man I once was.
Not that it's brand new, but its excessive, or at odd times, or... its just abnormal.

I know repression. Oh dear do I ever. This ain't it.

I think I like it. How can I not? Happy is happy. Is all in the mind after all... I guess. Or?

Who got the gravy? That's the real question isn't it?

Problem with memory being so damn small, its way too easy to misplace. Real-to-real magnetic storage medium, now that ain't gonna be misplaced. This thing is friggin 1cm square; what did the hell did I expect? I lose things literally thousands of times bigger than that.

Pointless to ask, not even I know.

She might have been cute. The black eye was just too distracting. It wasn't this way when we moved in. There was just the one guy. A death, a move, a change in management, and the stereotypes become more and more valid each day. Plus side that my yard looks clean by comparison, but not really worth it.

What is this about? Everything. Blog is just an outlet, for words, for thoughts. They have to go somewhere. Else you end up thinking groups are targeting you, and threatening to use "devices".

It is time for midnight skating with some bumpin' music. Fuck sleep. What has sleep ever done for me? Cancellations, and BAM free time. Oh yeah baby! YEEAAAH, Bay-BE!! Sunny weather.
Lets leave the future for the future. The sun is out. 5 more hours underground.
Interest bearing debt fading fast. Nuts to a real job. Maybe Alex was right. Omari agreed: planning is pointless. How did he say it? "A plan is a prayer to father time" I would have said to Malomar, but its no less valid for it.

How did I go so many years not knowing Zapp (and Roger)? I always liked them, just never knew who they were. Thank you Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, as if we needed another reason to like you.

This is not a short blog!

20 May 2007


  • May 20, 2007


riding all day down the coast of California.

Typical early spring weather.

Cool.  Misty.  Bright.  Windy.

Tired, a little hungry.

Rain starts.

Rain gear doesn't help - all wet.  Cold.

Arrive at camp ground, check in, restroom / shower key

Clothes off, in the shower, all alone, faucet, hot, almost too hot, almost painful
Almost, but not

Warm.  Soft

Like your body is going to melt.
Right there in the campground shower, melt into a puddle, but you don't mind.

Wonder briefly what person in shower stall next door thinks of the pleasure noises involuntarily escaping you, but, the feeling is too distracting to think.  Ordinary showers never feel as good.

Take that feeling, the hot water enveloping, but instead, picture it in girl form.


And yet -

Music.   Music in the genre they call "funk".
Sure, music is a matter of taste, personal preference.
But there is something ,  that, eee-gha. When your feeling the live band.  The rhythm gets into you.  People to ashamed to dance can't help but tap feet and wiggle heads.  There's a break, a pause, and then that first perfect beat, that first note, and if its done right, the dancers no longer have control over their bodies.  The musicians do.  And they know it, and they play with it.  And its not about what you look like, or about picking someone up, its just the music, just you and the music, and it just feels right, it just feels good.

Take that feeling, and put it in girl form.

The music with that ngha and the melting in a puddle.  They are not compatible.  They are both good, but one is calm and one is energy itself.  Or at least, not in any other context are they compatible.  Some how, passion, with all its physical movement, all its effort, makes you melt just like the shower, just like a really good massage.  Even with out sex, even with out love, it is like combining every good sensation, every good feeling that life has to offer us, into one concentrated moment, so intense as to boarder on excruciating, but somehow never crossing that line.

That sound, in the Beatles song "Girl" on Rubber Soul, the sucking in through the teeth, sssss, I can't find a proper onomatopoeia for it.
But you know what I mean.

18 May 2007

Update to 2 previous blogs

  • May 18, 2007

Update to 2 previous blogs

(As you may have noticed, the dates my blogs are supposedly posted are not always accurate, and occasionally even change.
This is because I think it is easier to read, and easier to distinguish one from another, when there is that solid stripe between them which only separates days, not entries.  Rest assured that they are always in chronological order, and never more than a day or two off from when they were really written.)

Here is a short sample of the transcription accuracy when the person leaving the message is not deliberately saying lots of weird and random things just to test the system.
I just got this email from SpinVox:
    • You received a new voicemail from +1510[*******]:

      Bakari. Hey, Dave calling about the workday around noon. Hey, thanks for offering to work today, but we're all set. I've got the shifts covered, so you're next on for Fri afternoon 2 to 9. I will see you then around 2:00. Thanks again. Have a great back-to-work day. Talk to you later.
      - Powered by SpinVox.

      Message received at May 17, 2007 7:14:21 PM

      If you wish to listen to this message, call your voicemail on +925[*******] and press *03

      For assistance, see www.spinvox.com or email service@spinvox.com

      Thank you,

17 May 2007

The last thing I want is to be a spokesman

  • May 17, 2007

The last thing I want is to be a spokesman

SpinVox is not paying me anything.



I live in a dead spot in my cell phone network (Verizon)
I also work several times a week underground (in BART)

As a result, I often do not get voicemail notifications for hours, occasionally a day or two after someone leaves me a message.
I do, however, have internet connections at both places.

So I spent some time on Google, and found a service which will email you a transcript of every voicemail you receive.
I signed up for a free trial.
I don't know how much it costs, because it is a British company, and the price list is in pounds sterling.  They are still in "beta" phase in US markets.

I have used computer transcript programs before.  I was unimpressed.  And this is with pre-voice-programming.

This new service needs to be able to work with any voice, any accent, over a telephone connection.

I was skeptical.  But at least I would get notifications of new voicemails, whether or not the transcript was accurate.

I called my self to leave a test message.  It was pretty long, so it cuts off abruptly toward the end.

Not only did it get almost every word right (including my first name, slang and sounds that aren't even real words) but the few wrong words its obvious what I meant - and it got the punctuation spot on too!!  It recognized the intonation that means "question"

Here are the results, which were emailed to me a few minutes later:


You received a new voicemail from +15105315953:
Ah whap baba loombop, ah whap bam boom, tootie fruitie fruitie. Hello. My name is Bakari Kafeeley, & I'm calling about a fictional job that will never happen, cos I am myself. Really, this is a test of how well the SpinVox service can turn my voice into text without me having, you know, programmed my voice for it to recognize words. I mean, this is amazing! It can take anyone with all the various accents & tones of voice there are in the world, & understand what we're saying? And turn it into something that will be understandable? Let's just see. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRXTUVWXYand Z. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13
,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30. You know, I could use this to just be like talking, actually talking & send myself a freaking voicemail. And when I want to remember something, or want to record what I'm thinking in real time, because I'll forget? I'll send myself a freaking phone call, you automatically what do you call it, what do you call it, transcribe what I'm saying via computer, & send me a freaking email of the text? This is the most amazing thing I've ever hear [first mistake, meant "heard"] of. I don't know, I can't believe I'm getting a free trial. I hope this free trial lasts like a mon ["month"] or like forever, cos this service is gonna have to be expensive & frankly I can't afford it. How ever much it is, there is no way I can afford it, cos this ["is"] amazing & it must cost like a million dollars a mon["th"]. Computers have just reached an ultimate. How freaking long do I get to record? I mean, I know it was long, but I sure hope I don't get any voicemails that are this long. Although Lord knows, I have before. My Mother, & Simate(?)[Senyate, but the question mark indicates that the system is aware it may be wrong] Simate

In the future I promise to keep all corporate type advertising to a minimum on my blog.  I am just so impressed with the technology.

16 May 2007

I mis-counted

  • May 16, 2007

I mis-counted

Looking back on my calendar

Over the last 25 days, one day off.

That is misleading, because often it is just one short moving job, no more than 2 or 3 hours.
All in all, 28 individual jobs in that time.

I was really looking forward to a 2nd day off today.
Call last night from Dave (the president of the Berkeley Bicycle Friendly Coalition, as well as the manager of the Bike Station)
He has not got confirmation from our new hire - could I go in, just in case he doesn't show up, and also to train him some more if he does?

Normally I'd say no without a second thought, and that would be the end of it.

Only thing is, if I don't do it, Dave himself has to.  We are short people (that's why we have new hires).
And Dave works just as much as I do, except I think a lot of what he does is volunteer.  The Bicycle Friendly Coalition is not-profit, and membership based.  They rely on volunteers for everything.
May being Bike month, he has been putting in crazy hours, (and forgetting to submit payroll! that's ok, as long as I get my check before bills are due)
*edit: check has gone through already.  only took 1 day from when I sent him everyone's hours from work, only 3 days later than normal*
, and now he is sick.

I may be tired, but I'm not sick.

The least I can do is put in a few more - paid - hours.  I don't volunteer anywhere; and I have no intention of starting. 
I was going to spend today posting stuff in the driveway to Craigslist, writing some, having 3 or 4 actual meals, and possible inviting a friend to go hiking.  I think instead I may spend it lifting bicycles into racks, and occasionally repairing them.

Oh, by the way, this is Bike-To-Work day, today.
By now, you probably have missed the chance to bike to work, but when you get home, go ride a bike anyway.  Somewhere.  Anywhere.  Even just for a little bit.  Its fun.  And its good for you.  And its better for living things than driving is.  And besides, everyone else is doing it!

15 May 2007

Symptoms may include:

  • May 15, 2007
Symptoms may include: 

Loss of (or increase in) libido
Fatigue and/or general malaise
Lumpy throat, heavy heart, and/or tight or tingly abdomen
Sore throat, frequent sneezing (likely due to persistent insomnia)
A manic and abnormal desire to keep busy
emotional extremes, positive, negative, or both (depending on individual circumstances)

Diagnoses may be either love sickness or a broken heart.
Distinguishing between the two may be very difficult, and is best determined by patient's circumstances

The only known cure (which, unfortunately, has no known reliable source) is a mutual loving relationship. Treatment usually involves a (preferably single) compatible individual of the opposite sex (or in certain select cases, of the same sex). This individual should be placed in regular contact with the patient.

If individual with these characteristics is unavailable, temporary or long-term relief may be found in the solace of patients friends, or the distraction of work or volunteering. This, unlike the former treatment, can not cure the condition, however, many individuals have lived long, full and productive lives with these conditions using only the latter treatment.

14 May 2007

I wait in fear

·         May 14, 2007

I wait in fear

a state of limbo

perhaps purgatory is more accurate

A space between Heaven and Hell

While I await judgment.

I can not imagine a matter more important.  Life and death, or actually, more significant than even that, it is a matter of life.

And it is out of my control.
I have made a case for myself.
I have tried the best I could.

I feel in a way a judgment against me would be better than this.
The anticipation itself is as agonizing as the worst Hell may have in store for me.
Heaven or Hell seems a most accurate description of the choices before me.  Or actually, Heaven, Hell or an indefinite stay in purgatory.  Even the last would be better than this. 
At least then I would know.

It is another
5:20am morning tomorrow.
I must try to sleep.

The moment before sleep is the worst part of each day.
In that moment, there is no distraction.

13 May 2007

15 hour day (and an extra long commute)

·         May 13, 2007

15 hour day (and an extra long commute)

On the BART, at one point, I spoke to a woman with a bike, she mentioned she was going to work - I mentioned that if she was working the late shift, she should have lights for the ride home. She said the ride home was next morning.
Turns out she is a resident doctor. They were limited to "only" 15 hours per shift and 80 hours per week only a few years ago.
For doctors-to-be, this is normal.

So I won't complain.

alarm - god damn it, why did I stay up until
midnight? I knew this would happen - you know, since it does several times a week
So tired. Painfully tired. Sore throat. Fuck it, snooze button

People waiting for me, need to be on time. Ok ok, I'm up.

Dressed, half a pop-tart, pull bike out from stuff in driveway, turn on newly figured out bluetooth stereo headphone cell-phone link, music, bicycle, on the way.

Today, I won't be so lazy, take 38th despite the little hill.
Up the hill, down the hill, so easy, why do I skip this everyday?
Getting late. Tired, eh, I'll take BART today. So much for not being lazy.

Fruitvale BART

01 May 2007

May is Bike to Work (or School) day

·         May 1, 2007

May is Bike to Work (or School) day

My co-worker was very insistent, when she heard I have a blog, that I post this here.
I told here I have negligible readership, but she was certain it was a good idea.