November 4, 2002 Header November 13, 2002 Header

I'm working harder, and, you know, you put more value on every minute, you do. I always thought I kind of did that, I really always enjoyed myself. but it's more valuable now. you're reminded to
enjoy every sandwich
and every minute of playing with the guys, and being with the kids
· Warren Zevon [+] [+]

In Brief

Arrived in Virginia fine. My Mom washed my cheap military coat. My Mom taught me to make her salsa (yum!). I’ve installed WiFi at my folks house. I’ve traveled 100 miles to see some old friends. Here too I did some tech troubleshooting! I’m typing this from a dial-up connection. I feel good. Thanksgiving is a great holiday. My head feels great. I miss Leah a bit more than I thought I would. It’s a new relationship, but a strong one. I listened to some of my Pop’s CDs on the drive – one on Freud, one on Hume. Excellent stuff about the self, morality, and natural religion. Saw an old friend and colleage from my UVa days — Wendy — she’s moved into a new house. Moving is so exciting! … Tonight I’m staying with my old bud Vince and his family. They took me out to dinner (shrimp and ribs!) and his son Jared is the bomb! I read him his bedtime stories. Tomorrow I’ll hang out here for a while, then head back south. Perhaps time to play my Dad at racquetball? … I’m still not quite acclimated to the time change, but no matter, gotta hit the hay now. Force myself to sleep. That’s the smart thing to do.

Yes, the above was all non-sequitors. Sorry about that. Too busy to be articulate and soul-searching. Know, however, that I feel very good.

Good night to you all, from Eastern Standard Time, somewhere in Virginia where it’s 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oh, and I forgot my digital camera. And there are cool things to take pictures of. *sigh* — like the mural I did of a plane for Jared last time I was here. It looks pretty dang good!

On-ward.

Observations on Flying Across The Country

Morning flights are tolerable if the person who’s taking you to the airport is not tense. I got a ride from my girlfriend this morning and that went very nicely. But as a rule, I prefer to fly later in the day. You see, I’m a last-minute packer and tend to stay up too late before a morning flight. This does help me sleep during the ride though. But today, got to bed at midnight, up at 5am.

At about 6am, San Diego traffic is pretty low-key. Mind you, this is not an indication that I want to be on the road everyday at 6am.

On a long (say, longer than 3 hours) I much prefer to sleep most of the flight.

I despise the bulkhead seats. They do not afford a location for my backpack and other crud. I appreciate having an “under the seat in front of you” spot. As in George Carlin’s famous bit, I need “a place for my stuff.”

Airline food is not really getting worse, but it is getting odder. I was on a morning flight today, so the meal was breakfast. The choices were pancakes or omelet. I opted for the omelet. But I think the cheese inside was actually Cheez-Wiz, or perhaps non-spicy nacho cheese. And it wasn’t so much cooked all together, like an omelet. I think the cooking methodology was to make a thick crepe (1 1/2 eggs I think) and then ladle in 1/3 cup of gooey Cheez-Wiz. Then fold over. Summary: Lame.

Travel in the continental U.S. in 2002 brings one nose-to-nose with new Federalized Airport Security Personnel. The San Diego folks seemed to know what they were doing. I suppose I feel safer, but I can’t help but feel that the “random” searches just prior to boarding are busywork. The rationale for the searches on my flight was that “the security screeners need to be kept busy” – so I of course timed my boarding to coincide with someone else getting the “take off your shoes” treatment.

I’m typing this now in the Pittsburgh Airport. I see that here too there are pre-boarding security screeners. Blech. Perhaps I can just say that I “gave at the office.”

I don’t have a connection to the internet now, or I would quote the Bruce Sterling quote about the current state of the airports. His thesis is that by subjecting Americans to ever-increasing levels of screening, security, humiliation (“show your papers and take off your shoes?”) we are slowly instituting a police state in this country. Not all at once, mind you, but incrementally. I think of the frog/boiling water analogy. Put a frog in boiling water and she will jump out immediately. Put a frog in cold water and slowly raise the temperature and the frog does not notice its’ poaching until it is too late.

For Mac MarkUp Nerds

Interesting article (somewhat inflammatory, sadly) on BBEdit’s HTML Syntax Checker and the W3C Validator — a reaction to Dori Smith’s comments at her BackupBrain blog. I weighed in, but John Gruber‘s comments are juicy and technical.

I think the vociferousness of the debate shows how strongly people feel about BBEdit.

Still House Sitting

I’m still house-sitting. Been out of the loop on some things. In-the-loop on other things.

Another Record I Want: From Stew: Muddy Sweetboot

Noted on the negro problem yahoogroup. Supposedly you can get it at a live at a Stew show, and sometime soon, online. Here’s the tracklist. Can’t hardly wait.

  1. xmas again (promo ep version)
  2. bleed
  3. the statue song (indoors again)
  4. giselle
  5. the stepford lives
  6. my damn butterfly
  7. movie of the weakness
  8. miss satan
  9. columbus
  10. boomy guitar song
  11. she’s really daddy feelgood
  12. rehab
  13. stranded on the club girls terrain
  14. xmas again (live version)
  15. ken

More Stew at artlung.com/fansite/stew-tnp/

Simpatico

Allen is going through something similar to what I was going through in May (heartache / breakup), and for saw a simpatico with my entries from earlier this year. He linked to me and I appreciate it. I’m glad to have people read, and maybe even learn something.

I don’t know if there is anything to learn exactly from my experience. But maybe it’s a lesson in the fact that one should not give up hope. One should not think that just because you hit a wall that you’re doomed. One should reach out to friends and family when one is in crisis.

Not bad lessons.

House-Sitting and Other Things (Long)

Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve blogged.

It’s a lovely morning here in Encinitas California. I’ll be house-sitting for quite a while. The house is lovely, and I have two pets to take care of. There’s a cranky older black and white cat. And there’s a Tibetan Terrier who just love love loves everyone. They also take the North County Times and the New York Times — Reading material!

I’ve set up my AirPort base station and connected it to their Linksys router so I can do work from my old clamshell iBook. So here I sit, enjoying the brownies that the owners of the house left for me. Keeping busy as much as possible and trying to eat right. I get occasional visits from my girlfriend, and from the neighbor, who brought the dog to me. I had put the dog in the backyard for a while, and, well, the dog is an escape artist.

It’s an old fashioned house to some extent, which is to say it has only one TV and no microwave. But it is comfortable, and there is art on all the walls. Much to look at in that vein. I’m trying to get my head screwed on straight. Quite a challenge these days, as I really feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.

It’s been a heckuva year so far. I hope so much that things settle down soon, but I think the stormy seas, for me, for my friends, for the country, for the world, will not abate anytime soon.

A week ago Sunday I helped a friend who had a person very close to them die. I’ve been loathe to blog about it. But I feel I must. I spent the day with said person, helping in the small ways I was able to. Death is so final. Life is so precious. More, there is so much stupidity. Why must the fun that can be had with the many substances the planet provides and that human hands can invent (I’m thinking here of drugs – alcohol, caffeine, fat, marijuana, opiates, hallucinogens) cause so much pain? How many people a year die in alcohol-related deaths? How many brain cells are killed with every toke?

I hear you. It’s easy for me to talk about these things, I’m a teetotaler. I abstain from drugs in the same way my hero Frank Zappa abstained (he did none except coffee and cigarettes).

Ever try to have a conversation with someone on drugs? It just doesn’t work.

And that’s my standpoint as well. Drugs are incredibly limiting of our minds. They seem to produce happiness, but in truth they are an escape from reality. I think the lesson is that we need to learn to live in our reality without anesthetizing ourselves to it.

I realize that this is not necessarily a popular stance.

More Feedback On Things I Don’t Like (from Erin)…

I have to agree with some of the stuff on yer list. I can’t believe you, of all people, don’t like even the A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh character(s). Have you read the books? Why would you take so much time out of your busy schedule to single out Mr. Pooh when there are far worse animated characters to hate? Like… fer instance… the All Dogs Go To Heaven animals? Sailor Moon? DuckTails? Muppet Babies? The Berenstain Bears? Strawberry Shortcake? ShirtTails? I challenge you to read an A.A. Milne book and continue in your efforts against my client… harrumph!

see also my original post and some feedback.

Old Rocker On Dead Rocker

Pete Townshend on Kurt Cobain’s Journals — I really like this because Pete is a smart fellow and great lyricist. Cobain and Nirvana signified a generation and a sound for a while, but ultimately I don’t think they matter any more than, say, The Eagles do to posterity. Cobain’s life sure was tragic though. I’m not a fan of senseless death. Suicide, moreover, annoys me to no end.

Two CVS Links

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