The talking tree


Doesn’t it kind of defeat the purpose of wearing an outfit entirely made up of camouflage if you wear a neon yellow visibility vest over it?

I mean, I probably would’ve mistaken the guy for an out-of-place talking tree if it wasn’t for that vest.

Maybe he was afraid someone would try to chop him down?

See the comments on Facebook.


We’ve really got to stop meeting like this.

There is an older man who I’ve seen once or twice a week at this coffee shop. He comes in and sits next to me at the bar.

Last time, he came in, greeted me, then ate & read the paper in silence. Then, upon leaving, turned and said (with a twinkle), “Well, it was nice talking to you.”

He just came in. The only available seat at the bar was next to me.


“I see you saved me a seat!”, he says.
“I did! And this paper (that was already here) is yours, too!”

He smiled and then walked to the front to order his soup and sandwich.

When he came back, he turned to me and said, “We’ve really got to stop meeting like this.”
“I know, they’re beginning to start rumors!”

He laughed, sat down, and is now doing what he does.

Cool guy.

PART II – January 27 (the next day)

My old man friend is back.

He just came in, set down his paper and water cup.

I stood up to take care of my dirty plate and make room for him, but he took it from me without saying anything and took care of it (I said “thank you”).

When he came back with his soup and sandwich he said with a twinkle in his eye, “I don’t care what they say, you and I are going to be OK.” :)

…[time passes]…

He just turned to me as he gathered his things, “I hope you’ll be able to carry on without me.”

I said, “I don’t know — perhaps if I knew I’d see you again soon.”

He said, “Sorry no, I won’t see you until tomorrow. I hope you don’t get separation anxiety.”

I said, “Gosh, I hope not — pointing to my coffee — I’ll just drink of much of this as possible and try to carry on.”

He said, “You know, as an Irishman, I think I know what could help you.”

“What?”, I asked as he started walking towards the door.

He turned and said, “Add some whiskey.” and smiled.

I laughed.

He wears a gold wedding band — and yes, now that I’ve heard more than a few words in a row from him, he does have a bit of an accent.

As I said yesterday, cool guy.

One of the staff who wipes down tables came up to me after he left and smiled, “So — you have a study buddy now.”

I said, “I think I do!” :)

On Facebook (Part I) (Part II)

You must make a lot of money!

I walk back to my laptop — the woman sitting behind me says, “You have such a beautiful screensaver! I love those photos!”
Thank you — those are mine.
“You took those!!!?”
Yes. *looking at my screen* That one’s from New Mexico. That one is Redwood National Park. That one is Pacifica, CA…
“You must make a lot of money!”
*laughs* I don’t make a dime. Maybe one day.

See the comments on Facebook.

I think I have a drinking problem.

Got a refill of hot water for my tea. I let it steep for a bit, then place the top on on my thermal beverage container… but I forget the oh-so-small detail of screwing it on tight. I mean, I’m a busy guy — who has time for such “trivial” details?

Time passes.

I’m sitting here thinking, “Boy, I could really go for a nice sip of fresh brewed tea — wouldn’t that be delightful? Oh look… there’s my tea!”

I proceed to reach for my oh-so-innocent looking thermal beverage container — *cue the music from JAWS* — thinking the top was on — I mean, what kind of idiot wouldn’t screw the top of their thermal beverage container on tight?

Ah — but the top was not on tight (you should realize this by now).

And so just as I get a nice sip of the aforementioned and highly anticipated tea in my mouth, an unexpected rogue unit of liquid proceeds to trickle out of my thermal beverage container and onto my lap — but I am oh so enjoying my tea, that I don’t immediately notice… until I feel the hot wetness pouring onto my lap in just the right way that makes it look exactly like I completely wet myself.

This was 15 minutes ago.

I may have to sit in this spot for another hour before I don’t look like someone with bladder control issues.

That’s fine.

And although no laptops were harmed on this day (unlike this day:, I can’t help but think I really really really should get my next laptop insured — or a Lenovo with spill protection.

Just saying. :)


Father and daughter chess.

A father and daughter (9ish) have been playing games of chess in this cafe for over an hour. She knows how to play, but he’s explaining his moves in a friendly & instructional fashion and giving her tips when it’s her turn. They’re pretty into it.

Note to self: Good idea.

Other note to self: The smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies is dangerous.

See the comments on Facebook.

Green tea.

Manager at Panera who has seen me here many times — and my eating habits have come up many times:

“So what do you drink then, coffee?”
Well, I try to drink tea, mostly.
“Have you tried our green tea?”
I don’t think so — your green tea is sweetened and from a mix, right? I like your brewed teas.

[ Manager walks over with a cup he’s filled with green tea ] “Here, you should try it — a lot of people get addicted to it.”

Ringing in my ears…
(( (( (( “a lot of people get addicted to it” )) )) ))

I’m onto you Mr green tea pusher man!

See the comments on Facebook.

Korean good luck.

Sitting with my laptop at a table in a cafe when a better table opens up — so I relocate to the open table…

The two Korean businessmen sitting next to me followed — picking a table right next to mine again.

You may not think anything of this, but in my world, this is a symbol of “good luck”.

More importantly, I think it means it’s going to start raining money.

Thank you in advance, universe. I am grateful.

[ Later in the day Phil Knight walked in. My location: Beaverton, Oregon. ]

See the comments on Facebook.

Kindness mode

So — No one really wants to talk to me for more than a week. Then yesterday a cafe cashier asked me about my name and we ended up having a brief discussion about it.

Today the manager is taking my order and the cashier walks up and says, “That’s Zero. Be nice to him. He’s awesome.”

I swear, the universe works in mysterious ways.

Kindness mode: RE-ACTIVATED!

[ I must have taken off my scary face. ]

See the comments on Facebook.

The Macbook heist.

College student sitting next to me at cafe:

“Excuse me, are you going to be here for a bit — like 15 minutes?”
“Can you watch my stuff? (sweet Macbook Pro, etc)”
Yup — But I’m going to steal it.
“That’s ok. As long as you will be here for 15 minutes.”

*He walks out*

So I can totally steal his stuff and not feel guilty, right? ;)

See the comments on Facebook.