Wednesday, October 19, 2022. Had set my alarm for 7:00 a.m. and only snoozed once and started the almost daily rite of packing up. Got up and made coffee, checked some more Amtrak routes. John W in the meantime was starting pancakes, got a call he needed to take, and Jacob finished making the flapjacks.

I had a few and said some more goodbyes. John W had repaid my hosting him ten fold. I’m gonna miss South California and all the folks I met up and reconnected with in the 10 days I was here. And, of course, the sunny days and warm nights that did come back before I left.

Anyway, I left John W’s and, despite his suggesting the beach/river route, but acknowledging that I was a “Urban Daredevil crusing the mean streets” (twoo), I took the shortest path straight through the city. And it wasn’t a problem. LA (and the surrounding towns and cities) has pretty good bike infrastructure, and a lot of quiet neighborhood roads. Never felt overly scared though there were a few parts where I took to the sidewalk.

On the agenda today was to visit the LEGO offices and Asa Tait. Asa is now the executive director of the LEGO series and movies. Long story about the connections to Asa that I won’t go into here, but basically it’s through my friend Evelyn.

I made it to the 6600 Sunset Blvd and texted Asa that I was there and he sent his aide down to get me. Nah. In fact, his aide is working remotely in Connecticut (and Asa misses his being there) and he came down himself. I hung around the office snapping pics while Asa finished up a conference call.

When he was done, we sat on the balcony and discussed his book, Meat Space which was based on the 1923 E. M. Forster short story The Machine Stops. This was a story I came across in a humanities class at PSU Altoona in 1976. In the vein of Brave New World and 1984, it describes a dystopian world of obese people glued to their rooms and TVs (which were also videophones) and their every whim was taken care of for them by the machine.

Asa said he first came across it in an internet discussion group where people were noting how it predicted many modern technologies and social media. Meat Space is a modernization of that world transformed to virtual reality. Quite a good read, though Asa said it started out as a screenplay, but it’s much easier to turn a screenplay into a book than a movie.

So, Evelyn, when you read this, know that we’re both OK and will be back to visit you!

I left my loaded bike at the offices and went out to do touristy stuff, though not much more than strolling the Walk of Fame. Asa was heading home early so I returned and walked with him a good chunk of his route when I heard a root beer float calling me from an ice cream truck. Since Asa had a Parent Teacher conference to go to, I said my goodbyes and made a beeline to the truck. It was 91 degrees today, and once I found a shady spot to sit in, that float hit the spot.

I had texted John (John from down the coast John, not John W the warmshowers host) earlier in the day that I’d be free in the afternoon for a beer. He and Reed had gone surfing and were making their way back to La Brea and suggested the Snake Pit Whiskey and Ale Bar since it had a happy hour. I made my way there and had an anticipatory beer while John and Reed sat in traffic. It wasn’t long before they made their way to the bar and I had one more and had another “Au Revoir” and I was off through the mean streets to the Amtrak station about 9 miles away. It was a pretty easy ride even though it was dark, except nothing is really ever dark in the city. I have finally figured out the Amtrak system, so things went smoothly there and the train to Tucson left on time at 10:00 pm. G’nite!