Category Archives: Uncategorized

At the Airport

I’m at Boston Logan airport, about to fly home from the pleasant summer temperatures up here to the scalding horrible 105 F at 7pm temps of home, in Dallas. I’m not really looking forward to it. I want to see my mom, and our cats, but the notion of dealing with the next month or more of bullshit high temperatures does’t thrill me.  I realize that winters up here are miserable too. I get that. But it’s not winter. When it’s 105 in the shade at 7pm I don’t want to go out and skate. I don’t want to go to aikido (the dojo will be hot as hell). So I guess I’ll just lay around reading this week.

There’s a lot of summer left at the library. I have a lot to do, and I feel somewhat refreshed after a week of vacation. Spent the week on Cape Cod. Went to the beach once. That’s as much as I like. Not a big fan of the beach. I love being by the ocean. I just never feel very comfortable at the beach. I burn easily, so I’m also covered with sun screen. My lower back doesn’t enjoy sitting in a low beach chair that is half sunk in the sand. So an afternoon at the beach is OK. I don’t mind taking one for the team.

We too a ferry ride over to Martha’s Vineyard. There were lots of white people there. Lots of little shops to go in. Places to drink. Not really my thing. It was hot that day. Not Texas hot, but if it’s 80 degrees, humid, and the sun is out, it feels really hot. So honestly, we weren’t that stoked about Martha’s Vineyard. The next day when the family went to Nantucket (to the beach again), we stayed on Cape Cod and took a drive around. Went to an old Meeting Hall in Barnstable. It was actually kind of cool. I like stuff like that. It was nice to drive around with my wife, talk, laugh, and chill.  Then we went home to the big house the family was renting, grilled some food, ate by the pool (in the wonderful cool shade — it was beautifu) and relaxed. The house we were renting was great. Hanging there by the pool in the late afternoon was really nice. I got some reading done.

Friday we went for a bike ride, on a great bike path on Cape Cod that was built under the Rails to Trail initiative. Great trail. Really a fun thing to do.

Well, the airport is fairly chill right now. I got a shitty C boarding pass, so I’m sure I’ll be stuck in a middle seat for the 4 hour flight. Oh well. First world problems. I’ll be home soon enough.

 

G+

Just another social media editorial.

I feel like Google + is a much better platform for sharing and enjoying stuff online that Facebook or Google. Maybe it’s just not as popular with the fascists, morons, assholes, and goons? I don’t know. Maybe its the whole “circles” of friends you can create there? I’m sure if I looked I could find some real jerkoffs there, but it seems easier to ignore them. Sure, Google is a big intrusive company, but at least they seem to have their act together. I’ve tried https://mewe.com , and I like it, but it seems like it has too much to overcome in Facebook. I fear its days are numbered.

Now, sure, it’s important to know that people like that exist, but are we really in danger of not knowing that if we don’t read every disturbing thing they scrawl on Twitter? I don’t think we are. It’s not so much a matter of isolating myself, but more like being selective about that I allow to affect my blood pressure.

Skate Trip

I’m at the airport, on the way to Florida, to skate with my friend Terry Synnott and scout out a location for a freestyle contest next year. Should be a good trip. Terry is a great dude and a ripper. We’re going to Kona Skatepark at some point. So I have my freestyle board and my “park” board with me too, in addition to my helmet and pads.

So far it’s been a low-impact trip to the airport. I have TSA-PRE, which allows me to get in the short line at security, and you don’t have to take your shoes and belt off. It’s nice.

More later…

Another friend gone

An old friend of mine who I’d not seen, frankly, since my wedding in 1990, died last night after months of treatment for pancreatic cancer. Eric was a couple of years behind me in school. The Venn diagrams of our social circles intersected in a few places, and I was lucky enough to get to know him back in highschool. Eric was one of those people who everyone loved. Everything considered him a best friend. Super friendly, smart, outgoing.

I regret that I didn’t get to know him as an adult. I think that many of us who went away to school had paths the diverged from those who stuck around home after highschool. So yeah, I do regret missing out on Eric all these years, but I realize that our time is limited and the truth is there are so many good people out there and there’s just not enough time to connect with everyone as we’d like to. But this is a reminder to do the best I can. I can do better.

I could bitch about cancer seeming to take the really really good people too early, but I don’t think Eric would like that. I don’t get the impression that’s the kind of person he grew up to be.

Bollocks to Winter

First session since October last year. Always fun to have to relearn all my shit after the much-hated winter. Still, not too bad. Pretty much made everything today. Just need to get the smoothness back and not do weird shit with my arms.

Black Panther

I saw Black Panther last night. It was great.

T’Challa is the hero we need right now. Someone strong but merciful and noble. Not the guy who just kills his enemies or tortures them. That’s so played out and weak.

Death

Found out that today a good friend’s brother, himself a friend as well, died. Today. Two days ago he was going to see music and living his life. Today he is dead.

Death doesn’t fuck around. I resolve – once again – to live my life deliberately – without fucking around.

What I got for Christmas

So, I got a new Zoom H4N Pro digital audio recorder for Christmas, to replace the very similar Tascam I used to have, which broke. My uncle, who does this kind of stuff for a living, told me that he’s had bad luck with the durability of Tascam products. Frankly, mine saw such very light use it is pretty ridiculous that some of the buttons stopped working.

This Zoom recorder, like the old one, will allow me to plug two XLR mics into the bottom, which will be perfect for on-site recording of interviews, so in 2018 I can get back to my Texas Skateboarding Oral History project.  Suggestions for who to interview? Comment here. So far, here’s my list. Jeff Bower, Paul Neumann, Dan Wilkes, Michael Niemann, Stewart Singer. It would be nice to do one per month, but I know I’m probably not going to get that done.

Post 700

Various thoughts…

  • Yoda was cool in the Last Jedi. Yoda is cool in everything. But really cool in that.
  • They are working on a Venom movie. Venom is a dumb character.
  • This is the second Christmas with my mom in memory care. It’s still weird, but I’m glad she is happy and content.
  • I have  lot to do in 2018.
  • I want to get back on the podcasting this coming year.
  • Shodan test in January.

Wishing all my friends mucho peace and happiness this Christmas and in 2018. It’s been a rough year with a mean moron in the Whitehouse and it seems like kindness is in shot supply up there. Let’s vote ’em out as soon as possible, and in the the meantime all try to be better people.

Things I’ve Learned from Star Wars #1

When building massive space ships/stations/structures, make sure to include vast chasms spanned by narrow bridges with no handrails, store data in tapes kept in towers several hundred feet tall with no way to reach the data if the little grabbers malfunction, etc. Also preserve the possibility of someone falling to their death.

Thor and Justice League

I went to see Thor: Ragnarok. It was a big, goofy, and joyous.  Thor did lots of cool stuff. You could tell what he was doing, as the battle scenes weren’t total chaos. The interplay between the characters was really good, and brought of feeling of depth to the relationship between Thor and Loki — a relationship thousands of years old. A lot to like about his movie.

Then I went to see Justice League. It was kind of “meh”. I’m easy to please. Superheroes doing cool stuff makes me happy. I got that. The feeling of the film, however, did not leave me wanting more Justice League. The villain, and a lot of the film, just looked like a video game.  I’ll watch it again on streaming when it comes along, but yeah, I felt it was pretty mediocre, considering the insane amount of money spent on it.

Skateboarding

Well, we are now officially in the crappiest time of the year for skateboarding. Nice cool weather, but short days. By the time I get off work it is getting dark, and soon it will be completely dark by my 6pm quitting time. I will have to resort to going to a skatepark in the evening, which is always kind of a bummer due to crowds. But it’s better than not getting in any skating at all.

Reading Science Fiction

I have a stack of really great novels sitting on my table, in my “to read” pile. Great stuff. I’m going to enjoy them a lot.

Eventually.

Right now I’m enjoying reading some old (1960s-1970s) science fiction novels. Adventure stuff.  I’m on book 3 or the Dumarest saga. This is not “high literature”, but honestly, it’s not too bad. It’s not even “hard SF.” But they are really quick, fun reads. I’m getting ready to run a Traveller RPG game, and these books are really great at world building. Considering that a lot of folks would call them “pulp” literature, this series actually contains some reasonable moral/ethical dilemmas and social commentary. Not saying they are deep. But they are not completely devoid of thinking. Yes, they are pretty sexist. Not in a “let’s abuse the ladies” way —  more in a “strong man protecting woman” kind of way.

All that being said, you don’t have to think a lot to read these. Which is fine.