So we’re pretty much settled in at the new place in town and the past couple weekends I’ve been hitting the sidewalks to see what’s within easy reach.

The great thing about being accustomed to 12-mile Saturday jaunts with 2,000 feet of elevation gain is that, say, four miles to a movie theater on flat ground is something well well within your perception of possibility. I had a hankering to check out that new Rodriguez/Tarantino flick, Grindhouse, (an excellent splatterfest which exposes Tarantino as a Johnny one-note and Rodriguez as an authentic wacked-out auteur, but this ain’t no movie blog), so I went to, plugged in my zip code and found out how far it was to the nearest multiplex. Four miles and change on a perfect breezy California day. I went for it.

Speaking of, I also saw one of the most blasphemous pictures I’ll never take as I neared the theater at around noon on Easter Sunday. One of Yahoo’s many office complexes is across from the street from a large Catholic church with a three-story statue of Jesus with outstretched hands facing toward Highway 101 (only in California!) … it occurred to me it’d be tres cool to get a picture of Jesus looming in the foreground with the Yahoo logo across the building in the background. Of course it’s 30 million years in Purgatory just to contemplate such a transgression, but such is the nature of Temptation.

Anyway, it occurred to me on the way home how great it felt to be able to just walk somewhere. No bikes, no buses, no light rails, no cars. I’ve always been something of a car nut. I’d have a Porsche if I could afford one. But being able to leave the car at home felt paradoxically similar to speeding down an empty highway in the middle of the night in a really fast car. Like freedom.

I feel like I’ve lived all my adult life harnessed to automobiles. Even living in the hills, I had to drive to find trails — it’s not like those country roads had sidewalks.

Last weekend I walked about three miles to reach a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. By the time I got back home I’d put in almost 11 miles.

Yesterday it was eight miles to see a zombie-invasion/car-chase double feature. I’m glad I walked. Even in town, breathing the exhaust of cars speeding past, the best mode of travel remains the good ol’ feet we were supplied with at birth.