Journal: Saturday, May 16, 2020

In Personal

I was supposed to cycle into SF to learn how to play (socially distanced) tennis from Melissa and Kristen today.

But despite tennis being OK’ed in the California “Stage 2” order, it’s not on the expanded list of approved outdoor activities in the Bay Area.

So… instead, I cycled today. But cycling today was different. Cuz for the first time since the SIP started, I didn’t cycle alone!

I think the idea for this ride originated a few months ago, when John, Diego, me, and others were still meeting up for dinner and boardgames every Sunday night. On one such Sunday, I learned that Diego bikes. So I suggested that we bike together. I think since then, John’s been thinking about riding with us.

Until this past week, though, I totally forgot about that idea. I’m glad John brought it up.

Other than this 5-hour ride (I started about an hour earlier because I thought I was meeting John on Treasure Island at 10am, when he thought he was meeting me at 10:30am), the other big thing I was looking forward to was Blockeley.

Long story short, there was a bit of hype around this “Minecraft graduation” and virtual music festival to follow afterward. In some ways, it delivered — despite all problems, it was novel, and I still can’t believe they got UC Berkeley higher-ups to read commencement speeches in Minecraft.

But, at the same time, the amount of commercially sponsored speakers, e.g. from Mojang (the company behind Minecraft), Twitch, and others, seemed borderline inappropriate for a college graduation… and the server set up to host the event seemed wholly unprepared for the number of people trying to get in. I mean, I finally bought a Minecraft license ($27) to experience the production firsthand but ultimately had to watch a choppy Twitch stream, because I either couldn’t get in or I’d get booted soon after getting in.

Other people were similarly frustrated on the Discord channel set up for Blockeley.

But, meh. Still pretty cool. I’ll probably visit Blockeley from time to time. Pretty awesome that people made this happen. I like it when things happen.

Side Note. Among the interesting things that John and I saw during our ride (as we repeatedly got lost on the way back to my apartment), the most notable thing happened before John arrived on TI. This probably sounds mundane to anyone reading this, but I helped a guy fish out his phone from under a bunch of rocks.

It’s sad, but living in the Bay for years now has made me more wary of helping strangers. In this case, the first thing on my mind was that, if I were to help this guy out there on the rocks, I wouldn’t be able to get back to my bike in time if someone were to snatch it. Then, for a split second while lying face down against the rocks reaching down through a crack, I thought: “this would be a great opportunity to use one of these rocks to rob or kill me!”

Fortunately, I’m still alive. 🙂 After a couple attempts, it turned out my arm/hand/fingers were just a centimeter longer than his, and that made all the difference. The guy was so relieved he offered to buy me lunch, after showing me how he pretty much had his entire wallet of credit cards and IDs attached to the back of his phone. I was also relieved to find my bike where I left it. Weird incident… but looking back, I’m glad I helped.

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