Just a reminder.
It’s the freaks that bring the greatness to everything.
Just a reminder.
It’s the freaks that bring the greatness to everything.
I’ve been spending my evenings reading recently. I tend to read in bursts. I’ll read 3 books, and then not read anything for 2 months. I made a decision not to allow social media, youtube, and all the rest steal my life from me. I’ll let books steal my life. Mostly science fiction. Mostly older science fiction. Mostly science fiction novels of less than 300 pages.
I’ll be honest. I don’t really miss the social media. I’m not totally avoiding it. I didn’t take the apps off my phone. I decided I should be able to exercise my human mind and will to simply read most of the time, rather than just dicking around on the internet.
It’s a better way to live.
I’ve been doing podcasting for quite a few years now. Of the last 14 months or so I’ve been working from home, and my podcasting gear has proven a real asset. In particular, this relatively inexpensive microphone, the Audio Technica AT2020 USB.
I have a Rode Procaster as well. A nice dynamic mic that I run through some combination of a mixer, audio interface, and Cloud Lifter. It sounds really good. It’s a $250 mic, and requires all the rest to make it work.
That AT2020, frankly, sounds just as good. Actually, there’s always this little bit of line noise in the Procaster that is there regardless what the setup is. The AT2020 is just about silent. No appreciable noise at all. Great mic. I’ve had it plugged in 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the last 14 months. Sounds fantastic.
This afternoon I taught on online class called “Introduction to Blogging”. I used Blogger, because it is a nice and easy entry to blogging, and it’s free. Had 23 participants, which is very good actually.
Rumors of Blogging’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Can’t remember if I written about this before, but in case I haven’t, here it is.
You may have noticed most of my little videos are hosted on Vimeo now.
Here’s a link to my Vimeo account. I’m a paying customer there. They don’t block my videos because of the music playing on my bluetooth speaker in the background.
In no particular order.
I have high hopes for the upcoming Dune film. Hoping it isn’t dumb like the one from the 1980s. The SyFy channel’s Dune mini series have been pretty good.
The weather has been cold, and on the weekends rainy, and I’ve not been skating since December. Hoping to work in a session this weekend if weather permits. I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction and working on some gaming stuff. Life is going through a rough patch right now, but we will overcome.
When it’s cold and shitty outside I like to sit and look at my boards. A guy on a FB group (you know who you are!) had people post pics of their most ridden boards, if they have more than one. It was a fun post, and an excuse for me to stare at my boards.
So here is the current lineup of boards I actually ride, from left to right.
Mode Pool board, 9 x 32.5, 14.75 wb. Indy 159s and currently 58mm Speedlab Slappy Hour wheels. 1/4″ riser. This has been my main street and ditch board for a while. I normally use 54mm Bones STF, but wanted to try some larger diameter wheels and see how much smoother and faster they would be. I do like these wheels a lot, but the board does feel much clunkier.
Mode Postcard double kick symmetrical freestyle board, Indy 109s, Mode Sunburst freestyle wheels. no risers. Gray (hard) Venom eliminator bottom bushing on the side I use as the back of the board, pink Venom Eliminator (slightly softer) in the front. Except for dabbling with some Mode single kick decks a couple of years ago, this has been my main freestyle shape since about 2014. I’ve used quite a few. It is long for a FS board with a 13.75″ wheelbase. 29.5 x 7.4. Great board. Great setup.
Mode 8.25 Connor Burke model pops. The standard Mode pops, with Connor’s old graphic. Indy 149s, currently with the softer 99a Bones STF 54mm wide cut wheels. I like these wheels a lot. Fantastic for the surfaces I skate. I love the harder ones too. Just depends one what I’m doing. I use this board for ditch skating and street/freestyle. With 1/4″ of risers, it rides high. I do that to minimize tail drag when I’m spinning 360s. A little grip under the nose for doing caspers.
When times are shit, it is important to take stock of what isn’t shit.
Besides the pandemic, we are facing some serious issues, but in some respects were are lucky. We have the resources we need to face these challenges.
So, here are a few things I appreciate this year.
The other night we watched an episode of the original Star Trek — A Taste of Armageddon. This was episode 23 of season one.
These shows hold up well. I don’t watch much prime time TV these days. Actually, I don’t watch any, so this next statement is just me talking trash, yet I stand by it with all the conviction of a Trumper saying no one would ever vote for Joe Biden. Here is the statement…
No prime time show now deals with the variety of topics that the original Star Trek did. From this episode, about a computer-simulated war with real casualties, to overpopulation, to racism and more, this show covered a lot of ground, and did it well.
The versions you see these days, sadly, have much better computer graphics substituted for the special effects shots. They look great, but I’d rather see the old ones. They aren’t critical for the story, and is it really necessary to go back and “fix” everything?
Toward the end of this episode, there’s a great scene where Spock, the ambassador, and three enterprise crewmen run into a room to rescue Kirk, only to find that he has single handedly captured 8 or 9 people. Do not mess with Kirk. There’s also a great Kirk soliloquy I always call ” I will not kill TODAY,” about humankind’s killer nature and our ability to overcome it. I can’t do it from memory, but like most of these shows I can speak it all right along with the cast.
I enjoy reading the history of these shows and films, and learning a bit about the actors. Gene Lyons, who played Ambassador Robert Fox in this episode, died at 53 in 1974. This episode was broadcast in 1967, so he only only lived 7 years after this was aired. I suppose he would have been 46 at the time he made this. He looked a lot older ot me. He died of alcoholism. Apparently Lieutenant DePaul was played by an actor names Sean Kenney, who played the disabled and burned version of Captain Pike in the episode The Menagerie. I always figured the same person played Pike in the wheelchair and in the flashbacks, but no.
The idea of the antihero is so played out. Wolverine, Batman, all that stuff. Tiresome. Star Trek didn’t have that. It always lifted the human spirit up.
Yesterday (Friday, at about 6pm, I started a weekend long social media and news media blackout. I need a break from everything. Going to skate, write, read, and relax, and not worry about things I can’t do anything about. So pretty much what I should be doing anyway.
I’ll post some stuff on Instagram though. Not much there to upset me.
Today it has been one year since my mother died.
I 100% hate the current administration, hate white supremacists, hate guns, hate abuse of power.
I also 100% hate seeing skateboards used as weapons.
The skateboard is a tool of self-expression. Seeing it used as a weapon in any context sickens me. Skaters – leave the boards at home when you go to a protest. Take something else if you need to defend yourself.