Friday, July 23, 2021

How I learned to stop worrying and hate Apple


First image taken with new iPhone 12 Pro


I probably shouldn't try to adjust the colors of an image when I have Night Shift mode enabled on my computer. The feature removes the blue light and leaves more reds and yellows. It's sleep science - it helps me. 


When I took my new phone out of the box I made the mistake of trusting Apple. I let their setup software copy the data from my old phone to my new phone, wirelessly. Then it would not let me sync the new phone to the computer. It told me that I needed ~90GB of more space. This did not seem possible. I realized that in letting them copy my content and settings they had taken the liberty, as they always do, of changing my settings so that I was using their bullshit cloud services for backup. They wanted to double my music library, but I didn't buy enough space to have two copies of every song on my phone. Stupid me. So, I tried again. This time it told me that I needed ~100GB more space. I am trying for a third time now and I think I know how to trick them into letting me use my phone. 

They are a despicable company. The reason that I still buy their products is because I lack ambition and mental energy. I'm a coward. The people I know that are enthusiastic about their products are all dullards. My stomach turns when I hear people's voices rise in pitch with excitement for a product release from them. I'm sure that somewhere there are intelligent well-meaning Apple enthusiasts, but not in my circle. I'm surrounded by the piteous sort. I don't mind nerds and I have nothing against gay people, but gay nerds are uniformly terrible. They can't help themselves.

The device is restarting again. This time it wouldn't let me get to the setup screen without doing a software update. No explanation why that had to be part of this restore attempt. Who am I to complain? 

I haven't been able to read recreationally while all of this was happening. I have been seething, the effervesce of wrath.

Keep in mind that I was a technician for the borg for five years. I have a very good idea how I want to use their overpriced products. If I have these types of problems then I can only imagine what others suffer. Actually, I know. They have replaced Microsoft - too big to win, too stupid to please. The cash just keeps rolling in. My phone was $1500, with taxes and the extended warranty. They did not provide any headphones and only one Thunderbolt cable. There was a message about how it's part of their environmental initiative. I'm partners with Apple in saving the earth now, but it'll cost me. 


The IRS displayed bubonic incompetence today also. I waited on hold for two hours before I was told by an automated voice that I was being connected to an agent, then there was an error message, then I was brought back to the initial phone tree options, except there were no longer any numbers to press that would allow me to speak with an agent. For two hours I listened to a loop of bad Kenny G, interrupted every 30 seconds with a loud reminder not to hang up, that I would lose my place in the queue. All for naught. 

People wonder what I am always so angry about. It is this and this and this and this. 



Ah well, Ahab - tomorrow is a new day. I was supposed to work but I chickened out at the last minute and traded shifts with somebody to work Sunday instead. I have a lot of administrative tasks to complete. Tomorrow I will run errands all day. I have a list, and I know how I want to get them done. As long as the American Telephone & Telegraph corporation doesn't cause me any problems I should be golden. Otherwise I may not be golden, I may be rusted.

















.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Randle Patrick McMurphy




Fuck it, here we go again. I am sitting upright. I've had no wine for about a week or so. I am prepared to tell the truth: she looked 18, sir. She seemed old enough to do all of the things that I like to do. We had a pretty good time together and we didn't hurt anybody. 


The truth is that I don't want to talk to humans any more today, not even little miss titties up top. I have been putting in unusual hours at work. It has sickened me to the sound and presence of others. 


How would somebody like R. P. McMurphy be regarded today? I assume that the younger crowd, if they would watch a cuckoo film like that at all, might see the horror that he represents and sympathize with Nurse Ratched. Why not? You can probably believe that there are some that might align with her struggles now, too. She had a difficult job to do, and what did he decide to do. There has been an inversion of the protagonists and the antagonists. It happens every 50 years or so, maybe more. The guy admits upfront that he likes to fight and fuck too much. Who would come to his defenses now for such things? Fighting and fucking are acts of violence. What could be worse than violence other than words, literally?

We have raised several generations of morons; they just keep 'em coming. They have access to all of the information that anybody could ever want and still they find a way of misusing it every time. People feel empowered by being informed. So, they start to believe their opinions are informed opinions, and why not? 


You know something funny? Well, I'm sure that you probably know many things that are funny, but something that I find funny every time I hear the word "literally": the secondary definition of the word is in effect, virtually. It is used to express exaggeration, for emphasis. It has been this way for more than a hundred years. 

So, the next time you hear some snotty little douche-bag (they always are) correct someone's usage of the word tell them to read a book, literally. 


You've got at least five arrests for assault. What can you tell me about that?

Five fights, huh? Rocky Marciano's got forty and he's a millionaire. 










.





Monday, July 19, 2021

Emails Without A Home...


A gift 



There is some irony here, too. Raquel and the boy are gone. Arizona, visiting grandma. Somehow the day was not my own. I worked. I am often involved in email. It is a protocol that offers nearly endless problems to unravel, in all directions. Where would we be without problems. In the early days of the internet I could not believe the wonderful luxury of being able to write a letter from a computer and watch it vanish from the screen, knowing that it will arrive at its destination seconds later and make its mistakes. 


I have been giving some thought to the meeting we had with the lawyer, preparing to map out the conditions of our love. The terms of the term. I am torn, like most, between what I thought I felt and what I think I feel. 

I have loved her too much and for too long, but not well enough. 


It is late now, the house is quiet. It is only myself and Akira, the husky. She sleeps in the chair near the bedroom. Sometimes she will come climb onto the bed with me. The quietude does different things to each of us. She seems sad and lonely, wondering where the family pack went. I try to cheer her up with additional niceness and playfulness, behavior of which she is suspicious. We both seem to love our morning walks the most. There is some sense of optimism in walking together. Or rather, it can fend off some of my pessimism, if I do it well enough.


I have not settled into the silence of being alone. 








.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

My Social Security


The coequal branch of contract


I am alone, or almost so, for the first time in a while. The boy sleeps upstairs. Raquel went into the city to go out drinking and to an event with a friend. They got a hotel for the night. I didn't check, but I believe it was a woman, her friend. She texted me after I had gone to sleep, telling me that she was at a bar that a friend of mine owns, some SF upscale place structured around some loose concept of days past. I did not get the text until early this morning when, as always, I awoke long before my preference to do so. 

The boy now sleeps quietly upstairs. That will all change soon. He will come bounding down the stairs and ask if he can play video games. It is his life now. Most of his joys emerge from those screens where I can see many of mine vanish. Before Covid he was still present and available. Now, he mostly wishes to be playing a game, or discussing the goals and trials of playing one. 

On Monday they both leave for almost two weeks. It will be myself and the dogs. We have booked plenty of time at the kennel for the most challenging of the dogs to care for  - the husky, of course - in the event that I tire of her company, or the responsibility. Many that I know have spent long periods of time alone in the last 16 months. Not me. I've had very little of what could be considered time to myself. 


Yesterday, Raquel and I went to see a $350 per hour lawyer, to talk about estate planning, trusts, wills, terms, beneficiaries, trustees, etc. It seems that we are going to reunite, though not under the vulgar banner of marriage. It will be more of a business agreement, where the individual terms can be more easily negotiated to suit our shifting moods. Prenuptial agreements, it seems, are not nearly binding enough. They simply don't work, insisted our counsel, they only cost you much more to enforce after things collapse. This bit of advice actually did sound true to me, knowing what little I do know of the family court system. 

It is best to have contracts in place. There is unexpected death to consider, as well as the expected kind. Who wishes to give up their control merely because they are no more? That would be relinquishing your grip on the television remote only because you had slipped in a coma. One must be prepared for the eventualities of aging into decrepitude or sudden enfeeblement, also. Trust no one after your body and mind have perished. Your determination can live on through an estate. Your assets can grow like a flower from your demise. It is not quite eternal life, but it is some reassurance that you will defeat a small portion of the grave and the potential shame of poverty in the afterlife. 


After the chat with the lawyer it occurred to me that the conversation, while amicable and friendly and even having some moments of levity, was among the more difficult conversations I've had in a while. Nobody likes to think of what might come. Or worse, what certainly will. I diverted my attention by thinking up absurd terms: funds will be released only if my soul's happiness can be verified through the psychic medium of my choice. If my son is ever heard singing Sweet Caroline the remaining assets will be forfeited to charity. Funds will be contingent on voter registration party affiliation. My body should be sent to a taxidermist and then placed within a medieval suit of armor and displayed prominently in the foyer with the visor kept open, my right hand affixed to a steely broadsword. My funeral should happen in a pyramid and my name should be legally changed to Pharaoh Q6. 


For many years Bette Davis would often denigrate Joan Crawford after the latter had passed away. Once, on a film set, someone said to her, "But, she's been dead ten years!" A statement which was met with the famously cold Davis stare.

"Just because she's dead doesn't mean she's changed."











.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dipso-enthusiast





I have been poisoned by a crisis of anxieties. I can't seem to relax, and too often drink myself towards oblivion. It is a bad look and dumb sound. Once you drink past the point of pleasure few good things follow. That's one of the tricks of the stuff, I think: the imbiber believes the pleasures to continue and even multiply. 

Those are my thoughts tonight. I am trying not to break my heart. 










.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Sale of Two Titties




It was the best of times, these were the rest of times. At least Styx was no longer a band. He had that going for him. Everybody did. Everybody except, of course, Styx. They were a band that shuddered and loathed death, we must assume.

Jesus. Nothing ever quite works out for me. I just looked it up online - Styx is still touring, they regrouped in '95 and whosever responsibility it was to prevent such a thing was sleeping. Do they have no mercy at all in their hearts? Think of the children. They were our future. 

I esteemed so much bad music when I was a kid, only ever partially recovering in adulthood. I don't just mean Styx, either, there were a lot of bad bands. Too many to mention. I can still go to a used record store and marvel at all of the bad choices I have made over the years. Yet I'll still walk out the door with a couple hundred dollars worth of new bad choices. I can't seem to help myself, Narcissus forever gazing at the reflection in the passing waters. 

Many of my stupid addictions tend to resemble my other stupid addictions. It's not even as if I have changed very much as I've aged. I mostly just have less energy to make the same frequency and magnitude of bad choices. I create slightly less catastrophe now and it makes me sad. People avoid me more now than they once did. It is my curse. One of them. You can make tremendous mistakes when you're young and most people barely even notice. That's what I did. It is the well from which I now draw my distorted and outsized sense of misguided pride. Few find my stories to be nearly as funny as I find them to be. 

Earlier tonight somebody told me to act my age. Well, in a sense that is what they told me. I said that drinking to excess is painful, that it makes me uglier and dumber. They told me that most people learn that lesson in their early twenties. I didn't want to tell them that I learned it then, also. 

Some truths only flow from the stream of continued exaggeration. 



Caravaggio














.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Exhalation




Perhaps writing a love letter is what I should do. I have been writing emails, outlining what I see, what I feel, and understand. They have not had quite the tone of a love letter, though there is love in them. 







Monday, July 12, 2021

Armenian Gothic





If you make the realization that life is meaningless, that your existence here is only a matter of genetic chance, that all that you are is an insignificant dust mote in the magnitude of the cosmos, then why go on? Was it Sartre that asked if he should have a cup of coffee or commit suicide? Or, was it Camus? I forget, but it's a good question, particularly once you start to live in pain. Life offers some pleasures, which can then become distractions. There is beauty in the world, though I increasingly have less time to enjoy much of it. Everything seems so impossibly far away. Drinking seems to help in the temporary sense, but the overall effect does not at all seem positive, or even pleasurable. We are told to live in the moment, and to prepare to die at some undefined moment in the future. 

Well, few encourage anyone to prepare for it, but everywhere there is a sense of needing to shut up about it, and to endure. If life is short and meaningless then the argument is to enjoy it as much as you can while you're here. 

My hands have started to seize up on me. They are always sore and have lost much strength, particularly certain fingers. I'm not sure if it is arthritis, but it is something. My guitar slipped out of my hands and became cracked on the bottom side when it collided with the corner of the wooden bed frame. So, I bought a new one, a very nice one, though now I can barely play it. Many chords require more strength than my hands can deliver. The result is increased pain. Barre chords are out of the question, or playing them for any length of time is. My left hand will simply give up in a spasm of sharp and sudden pain. Barre chords are what I have mostly relied on all these years without ever really stopping to consider that there might come a day in which I would need to learn to play chords differently. Perhaps it will all be for the best. I may learn to play fewer notes and accomplish a more careful sound than fully strummed chords, which always sound the same. The stiffness, soreness, and weakness is there whenever I play now. 

It hurts to hold a camera for any period of time, also, and my eyes are going. I'm only 52 years old. I had thought that this type of bodily decay would not arrive until I was 60 or maybe 70. 

Those are my complaints for the day. Sometimes pain just goes away. 


Fuck. I did a Google search on my work computer to verify the question. It was Camus. Suicide hotline numbers came up and a lot of resources ready to help prevent people from committing the act. I'll probably get a call from HR before the day is out. 

No, I called in sick today instead of having to deal with anything else. I am not feeling well and have not for many years now. I feel sickened. 












.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Recipes for the Pastor




Cells aligned in youth to create more youth - perched to spring, launch, collide into the gametes of strangers, or what may one day become a stranger. 

Bursting with glandular joy at the prospect. We travel here and there preparing to prepare. Making ourselves more complete to complete the task. To give life a crucial buoyancy, its sense of rising. Having balanced itself enough to surface well upon or approaching a natural death. 

The child, of course, becomes something else. By and by there is growth of its own accord. As if, and so much of it. There is something selfish about living, though worse accusations can be leveled about much less.

The well-rounded people I know regard loneliness as an occasional luxury to explain or describe their occasional sadness. If they feel the unexpected need to bother. The least are full of the most that can possibly be endured. 

 
Broken and empty and increasingly meaningless. My life is not what I might have chosen. It is not what I choose now. It is not what I had seen those years ago. Yet, I recline in a sometimes quiet place to read or play the guitar or listen to an album. In the end little is satisfying. What used to fascinate me now appear as stars 

I have been reading too much, trading recipes for too long. I.







.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Brandy, the Lady Whiskey




Strange life, this. How does anybody stand it without some fond sense for the depravity of stupidity.  


I intended to write another post tonight, but wrote the two sentences above and then retired to bed to read. Now, it is later and neither much reading nor much writing will be getting done. People must be crazy to write. It makes no sense to confess thoughts and feelings in this way, yet there is an unuttered loneliness without it. 

There was a passage from Submission by Houellebecq that briefly outlined why writing matters and just how absurd it is that there are institutions that teach it. It is more difficult than it should be to write after reading a good author. Perhaps he is great. I am trying now to find what I do not like. Nothing breaks my heart as much as nothing mattering. 









.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

To have spoken freely




There are basics that some seem incapable of communicating, agreeing on; structure must be imposed, usually from without the understanding than from within it. It makes perfect sense, yet it's not the love that was wanted. We are primates howling fits of gloom and joy towards and past one another.  

No, wait. I am reading Philip Roth's My Life as a Man. It is in part about marriage, sex, and wounded prides. A trinity of trifles and grievances. There are other themes, but those jump out. 


Well, I started writing that two weeks ago or more and that was as far as I got.


I'm reading Houellebecq's The Map and the Territory now. My life is just a series of laughs and giggles.


Perhaps CS chose a better way of conducting this: behind a mask, at night, with all of Gotham and Wayne Industries to hide behind, from which to launch attacks of uncertain motivation.  It is safer to maintain tenable deniability. 

Denial is the surest evidence of crime. What could be more indicative of guilt? There is witch-catching weather in the winds. Everywhere. My thoughts have nothing to do with themselves. 


I felt young then my memory started to fade. I'm not the person I was seven seasons ago, I insist and repeat. Something cracked, split the billion year old carbon. 











.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

El Jaleo


Sargent


It makes no sense. I keep fucking things in my life up.  Resembling the suicide impulse - it feels similar - though displaced outwards towards others. Too much personal chaos, too much fumbling. Little fouls that refuse to go undetected. I should disappear. I would, but there is nowhere left for that now. The world has become an infinitely visible place. No end to being detected. A life composed of the sound of sirens. The seasickness of disorder. 

Somewhat fanatically seems the only reasonable way left to be, to live. This sits on the young like an enticing shirt, on the old like a lost helmet, on the wall as a guitar unplayed. 










.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Run, run, run, run




I brought a gift over to my friend's house last night, a token of my appreciation for all that he has done for me, and sat on his back porch and had a beer with him. We talked of a number of things, mostly work-related, but also of the shifting interests of our own lives. He studied music extensively and has a doctoral degree in the subject. He relayed that he now questions the meaning and purpose of his previous involvement. He has begun to ask himself why he chose "that dream" and what that means to him now in a changing, later life. 

Several observations occurred to me on the drive home. Some where I felt lucky to feel the way that I do, others not as much. The ways and methods in which we give our lives meaning are mostly petty and far less significant that the meanings we ascribe to them. Yet if we never realize this then we are - at times, and only some among us - able to accomplish wonderful and nearly super-human things. People create art, help others, work towards improving their world, or even their own situations, quite admirably when not restrained by doubts. I recede and whine and wonder why. 

Some others go on killing sprees, presumably to assert an implacable statement about life and death in the hearts and minds of themselves and others. It strikes me as an interesting fact that cops never execute a spree killer at the moment of apprehending him, even "by accident." If we are to believe all that we are told of their nature - cops - then one would think that every now and then one might, quite literally, take "justice into their own hands." I wonder what the public opinion would be of the lone officer that might decide to do so. I imagine that their action would be regarded along almost strict political lines, as most all else. The "good guy with a gun" crowd, I imagine, would be elated and would decry that officer's arrest and likely conviction. Who, I wonder, would denounce the act.

The hyphenated phrase "extra-judicial" has always tickled me for reasons that I can't quite explain. Or, can not explain very well. It reminds me of an old phrase that I used to say all the time to people about drugs: "If a little bit of fertilizer is a good thing for your lawn, then a lot must be great."  

Sometimes I wish that I would have listened to myself more along the way. Other times, I wish that others would not have done so. 








.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Makin' Babies


Oona Dahl


Two friends are expecting their first baby any day now. I have sworn not to discuss details, so I won't, but they're having a baby girl soon. It is nearly impossible not to share a bit in their excitement and nervousness. Say what you will about the disappointments of life, of which there are many, creating a life has not been a disappointment for me. 


Some readers here hate honest admissions that they can not make, or those that they have not yet made. Statistics are wisdom, statistically speaking. Yet there is no such statistical category as personal wisdom. There is only the solace of the anti-crowd; amusing counterpoints to the stated mores and claims of the fierce individual. 

Uniqueness dissolves somewhat in the creating of life. It is everywhere ubiquitous, yet wholly unique. 

Ignore the voices that barely know the half of the half of it. Meaning does not derive from meaninglessness, conjecture, nor critique. 

Being counter does not mean what the word necessarily suggests. One must also add to contribute, to count. 



They both happen to be close friends of mine, these parents of tomorrow. 


The father is a partner in a musical project that includes examples of our proudest collective moments in dance music. 

Here is the slightly clubbier version, and here is the after-party, housier version, and here is the remake/remodel version. You can skip the first and last approximately 1:30 of all of those videos, as that is the portion where DJs are mixing into and out of the track. 

It is drug music, so act accordingly. 


Oona, Baby, and Three



.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Another useless Monday




The boy returned to school this morning, no afternoon after-care, but a full four hour day of school, two days a week to start. Mom and Dad are hoping that we return to five days a week soon, with after-care until 4-5pm every day. It may come as a nasty shock or pleasant surprise to have a little bit of extra headspace and quiet in the house. Who knows. If mom returns to work in the city, even one or two days a week, it might save the relationship between us. Dad is over all of it and desperately wants some space and time and peace for himself. It is difficult to care about others when there is so much noise coming from every direction. Every nerve feels brittle, vibrating with an increasingly steeply pitched set of anxieties. 

Another useless Monday. 


 










.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Almost anything





I taught myself to play I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) on the acoustic guitar today. Yes, Hall & Oates. I know, but it is fun. What can I do? I am defenseless against pop music. 



Easy, ready, willing overtime
Where does it stop?
Where do you dare me 
to draw the line?...


Yeah, I'll do anything 
that you want me to do.
Yeah, I'll do almost anything 
that you want me to, yeah...


Then there are some other lyrics. The chords don't change. Just slight dynamic emphasis as the chorus repeats. 

They're not that different from Steely Dan or Cat Stevens - Hall & Oates. It's an era of songwriting in which, after the melodies have been committed to memory, the emphatic subtleties are the only things worth noticing, which becomes tiring after those have been exhausted, also.



I can't go for being twice as nice
I can't go for just repeating the same old lines...
 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Imagine disappearing





How much futility is one person expected to endure, I wonder. Everywhere there is much and in many directions. Life can be quite boring when you put your mind to it. I am reading a book now, I am almost ashamed to admit. It is wrong think, or posits itself as such against the current social backdrop. Well, I should finish reading it before I write about it. I might accidentally advocate for it before it has had its chance to adequately disappoint or lose me. I'm trying to give everybody a fair listen, you see. I have a renewed sense of commitment to being fair minded, or trying. This is a great practice if you're not drinking, impossible otherwise. 

I love getting drunk and espousing my opinions. Truly. Few things bring me as much satisfaction. I've noticed it often in others, too. 


At a friend's suggestion I watched a Netflix series on Formula One racing. Every now and then I like to surprise the algorithms that are watching me sleep. I devoured all three seasons, so far. My son started asking me why I was so suddenly into car racing, and what did it mean for our future. I told him that everybody should be briefly fascinated with whatever is possible.

I don't have an explanation for anything any more. The friend also relayed the final months and weeks and days of our mutual friend, how his body was found. There should be services that will help you administrate your own departure from the world. Imagine disappearing. The fantasy of vanishing. 
 
















.

Always traveling




I took a few pictures of the same familial subjects. Don't worry, they will run out soon. There were only a small handful. We were outside, at the boy's baseball practice, so I briefly lifted the personal moratorium on photography. I took none that I like, only a couple that are passable here, where the rules of artistry have been lifted, an island of aesthetic limbo. 

This is the section of my life known as "personal interest stories."


I sit here, finished with work for the day and wanting to go get a beer, but not wanting to be or get any fatter. It is the perpetual conundrum. CS addressed it the other day. Why must so many of the things I love be bad for me? It's a mystery. I'm just relieved that I like vegetables as much as I do. Hopefully those will always make me happy, when they are free of salmonella, listeria, and E. coli.  I like soup, too.


Oh, what a world.



Still I think I'm doing fine.











.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This Be The Verse




Things move up and things move back. Everything starts to fall towards a semblance of a familiar place again. The baseball season is under way - AA Little League, which I found comical.  Dads have stern talking-tos with their kids learning to play baseball, upset that they didn't do well. Demands to toughen up. You can see the anxiety in the kids' bodies, the fear of not performing well as they go to bat. You wish that you could help them, to tell them anything that would change the feeling, though not entirely sure if the child on the mound would send you back to the dugout, either. It's a tough thing to watch. Then you see the parents, usually the fathers, and you know at least a part of where it all comes from. 

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.


I anxiously await to hear from my CPA. To see if there is any magic that he can pull that will prevent me from giving all of my money away to the government. The more he looks through my records the more he asks me why I don't have a financial advisor. I have mismanaged my money for no reason, and now much of it will need to be given to the government. They are very against the things that I have done, which was just put as much as I could in savings. He has hinted that there might be some good news, but then he went silent for several days. 

Ah well, I was only going to buy a new car or a used house. My life lacks direction from too much waiting. 


Raquel just now asked from the other room, would I like to go eat oysters? 

... my heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.








.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Rabbit is




My life is falling apart again, or so it feels. Everything is a race to something that is rarely ever done on time. Every day a struggle to find some peace and space of my own. I would take a week long vacation every other week, if it were possible. Though even the vacations take a week from which to recover. There must come a time in the lives of many as they age and age in which death becomes the only thing new or interesting left to do. 

Neither greedy nor satisfied. Here I am, there I run. There are books that I should rush to re-read. 











.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Lords of Death Are Always Bilingual





The title of tonight's post was a personalized license plate idea, but of course the state of California has so many character limitations. 

I tried to negotiate and get a plate composed of Diabl*w but civil servants are hardly yet trained to recognize the unseen metaphorical value in wildcard vowels. No witness could ever mistake the getaway car, I explained. 

They have no stamps to represent the asterisk where the customizations are labored and honored. It is in the state prisons, you must understand, they possess no tilde, either

The manager insisted I substitute a - hand, heart, star or + -  I begged them, please ... use the + twice, 45 degrees at a time, with your most skilled prisoner overseeing the double heat-molding. No liberal would ever mind. We are friends. It is fine.

Yet, and always, there is bureaucracy to curb the most misunderstood and helpful ideas; freedom compress the rest; slime precedes shame. 


What have we done - eats coast, wets coats - freedom compress the rest; slime precedes shame. 

.
.
.


Being smart is not good enough, so far. Not only is it not that, it's impediments, hindrances to the wagons, targets to lost arrows, fire near matches, in returning inwards, online obituaries, having no paper. 

Such the blessed curse - anti-venom that begs for cures. 
For this we love sores.

Horror screams to those who can't speak but can scream and scream. 
Terror, silent, noisy, 
crowded with void

Credit willingly annoyed. 
Couples charges denied
it seems





I am the owner of this comic book shop. Fighting an animated partner. Bought and taught with arguments and insulting offers, disagreements in an unlit parking lot. Drive away with boxfuls of victorious colorful wounds. Many years beyond meeting, the strip mall is gone. Time is further and further away than me. 

I am not a curiosity. I am like most everybody's curiosities, fast and molasses. 

That is that and was just always there. Now it's here, now it's shown. 
Shame is Time's son. 
Easter's struggles are thus gospel.



Super: 

More loco than a powering motive. More ing than ive

I've much more verb than now. 
Tranquilo, at this quiet moment:
I am only noun.













.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

The right person's ear




I was trying to get a new job, but not trying very hard at it. Or rather, I recognize that if I took life more seriously I would have done more to prepare for the interview process. I didn't, and I accept the results. I didn't get the job. The hiring manager was a friend. I felt bad for him, having to deliver the news. 

I'm not at all unhappy in my current job. It affords me the Swiss, German, and Japanese watches that I like. 

That's right, I like Japanese watches, also - Seiko, Casio, Vaer. There are many. Everything the Germans can do the Japanese can do less expensively. Or cheaply, if you possess that sort of anti-Asian sentiment that is so popular right now. 


We are living in a material world, and I am a material man.

Some girls romance
Some girls slow dance
That's alright with me
If they can't raise my interest then I
Have to let them be

Some girls try and some girls lie but
I don't let them play (no way)
Only girls who save their pennies 
Make my rainy day

We are living within a material plan, and I am the material man.



The third thing I notice in the picture above is the caution cone hiding in the vines, separating the figures. It's hiding because it has yet to move to the front and center where it belongs. Give it time. It can be used as a bullhorn, too, and it likely will one day. I know how bullhorns work. If you whisper an innuendo into one end, it will emerge as a fully formed truth from the other. The inverse works also, as long as the small side is held up to the right person's ear. Otherwise, the lies are all lost. 





 














.

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Habit of Looking





Ah, yes. We're all sick, the whole house. Not Covid, thankfully. Seasonal allergies, but unpleasant nonetheless. I wonder how much longer I can write here without taking any new pictures. I am reading a book that suggests that I should take all of my cameras out of their boxes and bags if I wish to form a habit around regular shooting. It must be true, as I packed them all away the last "fire season" we had here in Sonoma and they have not been unpacked since. No pictures have resulted from the cameras being stored away. That's just the science of it. Those are my conclusions. 


I have read that more than half of the brain's cortex is occupied with processing visual information. This is one reason why people commonly close their eyes when they meditate. It offers a "freeing" sensation from visual activity in the present tense. Then, there are just the gentle breezy reminders for the mind to shut the fuck up and leave me alone, and then voila! 

Nirvana.

 









.



Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Day Elon Musk Tried To Kill Me




Oh yeah, I got hit by a car. Enough time has passed now that I think I can talk about it. It happened in August, of the year before Covid. I wrote about it here, but CS very rightly encouraged me not to write any more than I did. I think I even took one post down, as I admitted some fault. When you watch the video above take note that the driver sped up to make the changing lights and at the last few seconds crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic. Then there is, of course, the collision. I walked out of the trauma center about three hours later. 

The hospital bill: just north of $50k. The only universal health care that I support is that some other entity covers the bill, comprehensively. I have this video because it was a Tesla, and the fool driving it submitted it to the police as "evidence." And sure it was. It showed that I was not entirely to blame. Teslas are very quiet, and low profile, and sneak up on unsuspecting cyclists as they are innocently trying to enjoy thiner day. The next time Elon tries to kill me, he had better use SpaceX. 


I knew I felt bad last night, unrelated to the video above. I was becoming ill. A sinus cold, I hope. All day I have suffered in different positions. My body sore, my mind besieged with minor miseries. It is a lucky thing that the sickness did not strike until Wednesday night. I had a challenging Mon-Wed, but it is now over. Tomorrow I die. You'll hear from me again on Sunday. That is the modern power of NyQuil, my cherry flavored savior. 









.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

So, I lurk like a spider.






I have been busy. Occupied, rather. Focused. It is engaging. Engagement is good. Right? Isn't it? 

I should find a picture before I write any more. There we go, a portrait of the boy. What could go wrong now?

I have gone easy on taking portraits of the boy and his mother, an effect of covid and sheltering. It suddenly feels somehow invasive. The boy is changing, too. I do not wish to make him unnecessarily self-conscious. I do like taking pictures of him, and of Raquel. 


I am writing this post out of a strange sense of guilt and dedication. I have not written in a while, and time starts to haunt. I have so little to say. The things of life have worn me down. 

I drank champagne after work. A mood took me, now the sugar has. Then what?










Saturday, March 27, 2021

Denver to Sacramento




I am still out of pictures, and out of time this morning. I must pack my stuff and get ready to go to the Denver airport. Then, the drive home from Sacramento. It took me a few years to discover this, but the Sacramento airport is the same amount of driving time from our house in Sonoma as the San Francisco airport, and the drive is much more pleasant. You don't get to see the city, or the Golden Gate Bridge, but the drive is more pleasant, fewer stop lights, simpler on the mind. 

I will eat a late breakfast in the airport since my buddy will be dropping me off about an hour and a half before my flight. He has an errand to run that has a clock ticking on it. So be it. I don't hate being in airports and on planes the way that I used to. I have come to peaceful terms with the experience. 

Some of the most comical experiences of my life have happened on planes. People are crazy, and I am very much at one with them on this. They make up stories that don't hold together, and I struggle to match them. I'll drink and tell them that I am flying to perform an exorcism, or that I used to be responsible for cutting off the hands of child shoplifters in Morocco. 

When I'm in a more benevolent mood I'll say that I am a lawyer who fights unjust evictions - pro bono. Or, that I am traveling with the ice-packed heart of a boy that just died in a car accident. The team is trying to save a little girl in Tulsa. 

Anything, really. You can be anything at all, if you just set your mind to the lie. 








.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Delight In Evil


Birthday Boy Q6, and buddy


The boy's birthday was almost three months ago, but I have run out of pictures to use, and who doesn't love birthday cakes? 

Only the evil among us, that's who. 


Everywhere there is the danger of people discussing race. It seems that if you subscribe to any belief at all that people of color are and have been oppressed then you are "the woke" and must the resisted at all costs. Little matter that there is enormous objective evidence of this oppression... If you mention it then you are wrapped up a Critical Race Theory, a thing that you must be too stupid to understand. It's a bizarre world. Apparently the only way to not be a racist is to denounce anybody that cites the existence racial bias or oppression. It's called neo-racism, and the smart kids simply love it. 

There is much moral and intellectual hysteria on social media. Now, I love moral hysteria as much as anybody, and simply relish the intellectual kind. That's how God occasionally speaks to us, through his messengers and prophets when they are in their spiritual delerium. When they come stumbling out, they speak the truth. I've done that a few times at Burning Man, to much imaginary adoration and applause until they turned on me with the stones.

It is only through spiritual and moral certainty that documentaries such as this one can be made: 






Okay, that's all for me today. I am preparing to go for a bike ride with my buddy. A nice, long wholesome bike ride through the country. Maybe we will stop and get a beer or two with lunch. It is my last day here. 




.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Blue Sky Basin - Vail


Super Shredder Event




Well, I know how much the fans of this page have been clamoring for some action leisure sport shots. So, today is your day. That's me, looking stylish and athletic, at Vail - Blue Sky Basin, to be exact. Yes, I know that there are many who find the very existence of this newly opened set of runs a contentious matter, but when you're paying good American money to enjoy the artifice of freedom you can't let yourself get wrapped up in all that noise. I am eager to bring Raquel and the boy back here, now that I have explored the region and verified that it is safe. 

In truth, I'm glad that I came back. The last visit here was strained and I spent much of it distracted, self-involved. This visit was mostly more fun. As I improve at snowboarding it means less of a daily strain on my body and more enjoyment. It's still a physically demanding sport, but it helps when you learn how to fight it from happening less. Proficiency at the sport helps conserve leg strength. We rode about sixty miles in three days. 

Today, I plan on only resting and eating, maybe a little afternoon wine drinking. Possibly a bike ride this afternoon. Last night my friend made braised short ribs, asparagus, and salad. I paired it with a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Decoy winery. Not quite within my new "no red meat" diet regimen, but who can say no to such deliciousness? I am on vacation. I slept for many hours and awoke feeling that I had done the right thing. Now, I must fight off the calories. 


This trip has not been all laughs. Yesterday, we were driving home from the mountains and we just so happened to drive by the supermarket in Boulder where that kid just killed ten people, including a cop. There was a big vigil outside the supermarket. We kept driving on, the road was lined with hundreds of emergency vehicles, many with their lights on. We realized that it was a procession of some sort for the cop that was killed during the shooting. As we sat there in traffic all the cop cars with their lights on drove by, then eventually the hearse that carried the officer’s body, covered in a flag. It was all very surreal, an unexpectedly powerful thing to witness. 

What can be said about those things by me that has not already been said. It seems that almost everybody is against spree killings, but nothing can be done. Nobody is ever truly safe from anything. My joke above about exploring the region to verify that it is safe confirms that. 

When I try to imagine the thoughts and feelings that go through a person's mind leading up to and then conducting a spree killing, all that I can usually come up with is that the killer wishes to see people in helpless terror. To know that he is the cause of that helplessness and terror. There must be much more to it than that. Because if that's all that it is then it would probably happen even much more often. 







.




Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Tao














.

I just love flying in helicopters




I know how cherished my vacation pics are. That is what I will bestow on my fan base today. Followed by a lengthy opinion piece, an exploration of which watches are the best to wear snowboarding. Give the people what they want! That's what I always like to say. 
 
I feel truly terrible this morning. My buddy and I stayed up and drank last night. Today we are supposed to do the Blue Sky Basin trails. They can be seen just underneath the word "Legendary" in the above picture. These trails are not for beginners, a group in which I like to still count myself. There are only Blue and Black Diamonds there. I have been assured that I have really advanced in the sport, and that I am now squarely in the "intermediate" category, but I know better. I can feel how little control I have over the speed and direction of the board and myself upon it at any given time. I am never very far from tragedy or an airlift off of the mountain. 

But, it all makes me feel younger. Death or disfigurement seems a small price to pay. 


We stayed up arguing politics, which went really well. We are both lifelong liberals, whatever that means anymore. Don't let the Tom Brady, Buccaneers' jersey fool you. Some mutual friends bought that for him as a gift. It is not a political statement. It is the only time that I have ever seen him wear a sport's jersey of any kind. I tried to point out that both liberals and conservatives engage in a lot of bad faith arguments and that contemporary "liberal politicians" have basically become the GOP-lite. This discussion was very thin on facts and detail but heavy on emotion, opinion, even a little harmless conspiracy. 

This is how aging liberals get their kicks, I guess

Liberals annoy me so much that, at times, I have resorted to defending Trump. It brings me a perverse pleasure, specifically when it's an area that is so easy to prove your point. Like the claim of white nationalism in his remarks after Charlottesville. The "very fine people on both sides" claim that many major media agencies reported then and now refer to as a settled truth, confirming Trump's support of white nationalism. Joe Biden, that battery-operated corpse, even cited it as his reason for deciding to run for the presidency. Most people are either shocked or dismissive when they read the entire clip. 

Some are smart enough to realize they've been duped, some others must enjoy it. 

This is not to try and say that Trump deserves defending, at all. He doesn't. I just think it's worth establishing precisely how duplicitous our cherished media outlets can be, and how much politicians knowingly take advantage of this dishonesty. If I can do this at the expense of an old friendship then the taste is even that much sweeter. 

I hope you can hear my sarcasm and perhaps even mild remorse in that last sentence. It is no fun to argue politics with anybody, but definitely not an old friend. They're just not making any new old friends any more. It's only the old, broken-down ones that I should learn to get along with. 

I may need to practice holding my tongue more when Nancy Pelosi is presented as one of the great defenders of liberalism, and the levee that held back the Trump abuses of power.

Uh-huh. I'll just keep nodding my head. Uh-huh.

 


 


 








Tuesday, March 23, 2021

"I wish that I knew what I know now"




I told you.... that's us at the Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek. My face looks about twice as big as my buddy's because it is. Everybody has their cross to bear, mine's my skull. I should know better by now and always have my friends take the selfie, so that I can arrange my face compositionally behind the other face or faces. This will help make it seem more normal. It's not normal, but there are tricks that can be employed in photography to make things seem other than they are.

Yesterday was really something. A full day snowboarding. We did about 13-14 runs and 25 miles. I have started to ride glades. Those are patches of trees that can be reasonably maneuvered around, often separated by runs on either side. My skill levels are not quite up to where they need to be to do such a thing, but that is often how one learns. 

I'm still a little bit surprised at myself for taking up the hobby of snowboarding at this age. I wonder how long before I simply can not get myself locked into my bindings. You will see older people still skiing, often together as cute retired couples, but there are no older snowboarders. I am the oldest that I've ever met. So, I begin to ask myself if snowboarding is simply something that becomes too difficult to do as you age, or if the relative newness of the sport has created a population of mostly younger - or at least younger than me - snowboarders. That, as I get older I will also see others like me.

Perhaps there is just that one injury that takes them out of the sport for life. Every day that I ride it occurs to me that what I am doing is in fact a rather dangerous thing to do. If I stop and think about the risk vs. reward it does raise some questions. But, what did I end yesterday's post with? Something about my high willingness to purchase the cosmetic feelings of freedom. Could anything be more indicative of such a thing as a privately owned ski resort where my buddy and I happily bought $10 draft beers. Perhaps only Disney World offers a similar superficiality of feeling and experience.  

Today: Vail. 








.