So I'm sitting in the outdoor courtyard of the cafe across the street from my building. It's one of those rare gorgeous spring days in San Francisco -- warm enough to sit outside in shirtsleeves, no wind, perfect blue sky, not super-hot like yesterday. The cafe is pretty deserted, since it's too late for people to be taking coffee breaks but too early for the folks headed for the ballpark. So it's just me, and my laptop, and some birds, and the traffic that I can see driving along the Embarcadero through the fenced-in courtyard. I dropped by here after work to have a drink (seltzer, since the only iced tea they had left was mango-flavored) and a cookie and get some writing done. It's a nice spot for it. I've spent my entire life reading in cafes, but I've never really tried to write in one before, and I'm finding I quite like it. Just the right level of external stimulus -- not so quiet that it's distracting, but the noise of cars and trains and pedestrians is easy to background. Also, there's no wireless here (this is being composed in TextEdit; I'll post it when I get home), so that particular distraction is removed as well.
It's interesting to note how mobile computing has changed my habits. Several days, now, I've pulled my laptop into the living room and chatted with folks while watching television (baseball works particularly well for this), or written and surfed while T has played games or otherwise done his own thing. I'm not having to make nearly as many choices about what I want to do -- multi-tasking is the name of the game. Whether or not that's a good thing long-term I haven't decided, but I'll figure it all out. I end up taking the laptop to work probably about twice a week. Last Thursday, I brought it along so that I could take advantage of the public library's free wireless rather than having to come all the way home between work and going out to dinner. Worked out beautifully. I imagine I'll do the same thing this week.
Time to get back to the connected world. Still, this was a nice experiment. I should do it again.