I’m baaack!, July 29, 2016

I am back from my pilgrimage across the country and happy to be back in the friendly confines of Steelhead Coffee. On Wednesday (7/27) I left Elko, NV at 4:45 am so I could drive the the 421 miles to Sacramento, CA for a luncheon engagement with three very lovely and talented young ladies, Martha Friedrich, Linda Angel, and Angela Ratty.

Martha, Linda, and Angela are the key players in the California School Information Services (CSIS), the organization that was originally tasked with assigning and maintaining unique student identifiers for all students enrolled in public schools in California. Given that California has upwards of 6 million students that was and continues to be a daunting task, especially given the mobility of large segments of the population.

That functionality was transferred to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), a function of the California Department of Education (CDE) in 2009. The early implementation of  CALPADS was fraught with problems in the beginning, and was even in danger of being scrapped not long after its release. Proper functioning of the system requires the cooperation of over 1100 Local Educational Agencies (LEA’s) to transmit and maintain an ever growing body of electronic data to CALPADS.

When systems break and don’t work the people who have to do that job get very frustrated very easily, especially when their supervisors have no idea of what the magnitude of the job is and in most cases don’t provide adequate support. When things get tough, they turn to CSIS for support, and Martha, as Client Services Officer, Linda as Data Analyst, and Angela, Chief Data Architect, are beloved all across the state for their dedication to providing support for the beleaguered masses. Getting the opportunity to lunch with them was a highlight of my entire trip!


Of course I also needed to get my yoga on, so I took a class at a small studio,  It’s All Yoga, in Sacramento. I usually add a photo of the outside of the studio in my posts, but in this case the storefront is so small and undecorated that I almost just passed it by. The inside, however, while quite small, has had more attention paid to it. The class, taught by Jeanne (pronounced like “I dream of …and not your aunt Jean) Munoz was very creative, enjoyable, and provided excellent foundational work. It was designed to both improve strength and precision, and was augmented with some tenderizing using faux yoga tuneup balls created with two tennis balls and some packing tape, an innovation that I plan to copy very soon. A very unexpected surprise was a beautiful chant sung by Jeanne who has a beautiful voice.


The day would not have been complete, of course, without a visit to a coffee shop, and I got my fix at Insight Coffee Roasters. I looked at their website, and I didn’t see this Midtown location listed, so I believe it is a new location. Barista Michael was doing an excellent job of holding down the fort by himself and passed the test of making an excellent machiatto!


That’s when things got weird! Parking is a nightmare in this part of town, and I spent fifteen minutes or so driving around before I realized that there were loading  zones that expired at 6 pm. I found one and parked. By this time I was pretty disoriented (more on that below) and made the strategic error of not making a note of where my car was parked.

I am a cannabis user and have found that just the right dosage really accentuates my ability to make that mind-body connection that yoga is all about. I find that I get really stretchy given when under the influence. The key, though is the right dosage, which for me is 15-25 mg. If the dosage is too high I can still function very well on the micro level, but my ability to formulate and execute complex plans suffers greatly. When I say “complex plans” that might include something like remembering where I am going, or finding my car.

Before my yoga class I had visited a local dispensary and purchased an edible product (dark chocolate) that I was unfamiliar with and bit off more than I could chew! The chocolate bars I was used to consuming had four sections with a total dosage of 100 mg, and one section is appropriate for me. I gobbled down one of the four sections on the bar I had purchased, and it was only later that I checked the label and found that this bar had a total of 400 mg!

I had taken a dosage equal to four of my regular doses, and that, compounded by the fact that as it gets dark my eyesight suffers greatly, caused me to wander around fruitlessly for an hour or so before I decided to get a cab back to my hotel and put off my search until the morning. Even at that, with a more systematic search plan in play (as opposed to the “random guess with replacement” strategy I had used at night) in hand, it still required the assistance of Ms. Angela Ratty on her bicycle to finally locate my car. You know how sometimes it requires the eyes of someone else to locate that set of car keys that is actually in plain sight? Once again, ANGELa (note the emphasis), has come through in the clutch!



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