We're back in San Francisco after visiting Amsterdam and Brussels for two weeks. I have 500+ photos to sift through and upload, hundreds of sites to catch up on, and I haven't checked but I'm assuming several thousand work-related pieces of email. Federated Media loves its email.

But aside from all that data to digest I'm happy to be home and happy to be in San Francisco. It only took one 12 hour flight + a full night's rest to reset my clock.

I don't know where to begin on how supremely satisfying the last two weeks have been. Instead I'll mention the four books I had with me on my trip. I think they more than adequately describe where my head is right now: the very excellent A Brief History of the Crimean War, the very good (but not as good as Pattern Recognition) Spook Country by William Gibson, and perhaps the best travel map-books I've ever used (Amsterdam, Brussels).

I included the Knopf map-books because they were not just incredibly useful, but their graphic and information design was consistently good; so good I'd almost classify them as inspiring examples of how to translate a staggering amount of information into simple tools you can carry with you. That kind of attention to detail should always be noted and praised.

This is all a round-about way of saying the books I read inspired me to try writing again. Which, to me, is pretty wondrous news. More later.