When God Uses His “Smudge” Tool

It looks a little like this.

As I took this photo myself earlier in the day, it may give you a rough idea of where I am geographically at the moment. Most of the day was given over to travel; now I’m at the Northern California coast in a little in which is lovely but which has no Internet connection to speak of. So, yes, I’ve taken my laptop to a coffeeshop. You may begin your abuse now. This does suggest that updating my be even more spotty this weekend than I had previously assumed. Sorry about that.

Someone in comments noted that I was slacking in not linking to the AMC column today; hey, 11 hours of travel will do that to you. But here’s the link for those of you who can’t find it yourself.

And that’s what I’ve got for you today. Now I’m heading back to the inn to depressurize from all that moving about the country. See you tomorrow if I swing back around to the coffeeshop.

30 thoughts on “When God Uses His “Smudge” Tool

  1. But are you working at the coffee shop? If not, I think you get a pass. I’m glad you enjoyed the Double-Double- I may have to go pick one up myself.

  2. Excellent country up there. Marin? Sonoma? Mendicino?

    My family used to have a property on Tomales Bay up in Marin, great place to spend the summer on the bay/beach.

    Please stop going to the coffee shop and enjoy the surrounds 8-)

  3. I desperately wish I were local so I could walk into the coffee shop, nudge the person next to me in line, point at you, and say, “Check out that poser!” ;)

  4. It John 6 hours to go from “passing through SF” to the coffeeshop. Assuming an hour to check in / settle in / whatever, discover that there’s no wireless, and find a coffeeshop, that’s no more than five hours north of SF, say.

    Within five hours north from SF you can get all the way up to Eureka.

    I have an idea how many coffeeshops are between the Golden Gate and Eureka – I used to do road trips up 101 and up 1 (sob – the Scotia Inn and its best-in-the-world-milkshakes are no more). My inlaws live in Petaluma, my family used to have property out in West Marin, etc.

    With all the bay area geeks acting in stalking concert we might possibly find him. Somewhere that it’s a “cottage”, implying out in the country-ish, and yet near a coffee shop, there are probably twenty or thirty general areas he could be in Marin, ten in Sonoma, ten in Mendicino, some more a bit further up. Some of those have only one coffeeshop like store, some have a dozen.

    I love having an excuse to go buzzing out around the coast at high speed for fun. But it seems improbable that it would attain the stated goal of finding him, and more than slightly stalkerish if we actually tried.

    John, if you HAPPEN to be out in Point Reyes or Inverness, make sure you hit the Station House Cafe in Point Reyes, the Grey Whale pizza place in Inverness, and go sit on Ocean Beach some while you’re there. If you’re in any of the many dozens of other places you could be, then just enjoy yourself.

  5. In-N-Out off of the 101 at Rohnert Park Expressway, just south of Santa Rosa. That’s the only one north of Marin. Scalzi-stalkers (boy that should be a twitterfeed!) have the best chance of coming in contact with Our Hero by hanging out there. No way John can stay away for longer than a day while within the border of the Golden State.

    Then again, perhaps letting Mr. Scalzi have some peace and quiet while enjoying the best part of California is the better idea.

    PS – pssst! John, if you want to stop by for dinner in Sebastopol, just let me know…;)

  6. Rather than abuse you about the coffee shop, I will just insert a mild jab about staying in a “little in [sic]” Or did you mean the In-N-Out?

    Cool picture though.

  7. George @ #7, I think I must know you. MY in laws are in Petaluma (my hometown), I did the Bay Area – Eureka trek four times in one year and the news that Scotia Inn is no more breaks my heart a little.

    And Mr. Scalzi, I DO hope you’re enjoying yourself to the fullest. This homesick gal is jealous.

  8. Since you’re in SF, and I don’t get to go there until next year, allow me to take this opportunity to say, “Scalzi, you’re not fooling anyone taking your netbook to a coffee shop.”

  9. If you have time and are going back through the city, try stopping at Higher Grounds in Glen Park, an Chenery street for coffee and a crepe.

  10. I was in a Panera doing email last night and thought of you. I wasn’t fooling anybody, either, but I wasn’t working…

  11. How does anyone know what lane to be in? That looks terrifying. (Also, I don’t like bridges.)

  12. You should bring me back some In-N-Out Burger when you come back to Ohio just stop by Newark and drop it off lol :P

  13. Another Liz @18: The lane markings are much more visible than they appear in the photo. Otherwise, you could just follow the biggest truck to ensure a clear path…

  14. Another Lize @18 – the lane on the far left (which adjoins oncoming traffic) is known as the “suicide lane”. The lanes get moved during the day to accomodate rush hours, so in the morning there are 3-4 lanes southbound and in the evening 3-4 lanes northbound.

    Don’t let anyone tell you the commute to SF is dull!

  15. Hey dear brother…wish I knew you were headed this way, I would have loved to see you. How long you gonna be around?? Hope your having too much fun! PEACE

  16. I hope that you’re enjoying your time in Caleeforniya! Did you remember to bring that $24 billion to help our useless state government balance the budget? I know that’s a lot of double-doubles, but help a brother (or two or 33 million) out!

    Don’t forget to visit the North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg or the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka! That is, if you enjoy a tasty pint of awesome…

  17. Northern California! Home turf. There are too many lovely places there.

    If any of you ARE in the Marin area, Point Reyes is wonderful. And you might try to find a little lighthouse that’s at the end of a dripping, tree-lined road and at the base of too many steps looking out over steep cliffs. After puffing down those, on a foggy morning, you just might hear the whales singing.

    And if you hear that, you will never forget it. I promise!

    Enjoy the peaceful, solitary, memory-soaked place Mr. Scalzi!

  18. Let me add a second plug for the Point Reyes Station House, particularly the garden seating if the weather is nice.

    We were just in Scotia a couple of days ago, and the Scotia Inn looked open. Maybe someone reopened it?

  19. Pam Adams wrote:

    “But are you working at the coffee shop? If not, I think you get a pass. I’m glad you enjoyed the Double-Double- I may have to go pick one up myself.”

    Don’t be “e-litist”, Pamela. Someone has to sling “double-doubles” (just fuckin call it coffee, you pretentious sow..) .. I hope someone farts in the next one you order.

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