Monday, December 19, 2005

Aren't I in Texas???

12 18 05
I ask for a Jack and Coke in Dallas Airport…
“Umm… I don’t have Jack Daniels…”
“…I’ve got Crown…”
“…aaand… Pepsi.”
I’m 0 for 2.
“Aren’t I in Texas?”
“Umm… *looks around*… Yes?”
Now I’m 0 for 3.
“Givvus a shot of tequila”
“I've got...”
“Anything gold.”
“On the rocks?”
“Straight up with salt and lime.” I say not wanting to strain her mental capacity by using words like "twist".
*Does nothing for 4 1/2 minutes* “Here you go...” *hands me so little tequila there's barely enough to recognize gold from white*
*contemplates pouring it on the bar in protest/disgust*
*hands me bill for $7.50*
*drinks up*

Organized religion still scares me a bit.

12 18 05
I’ve been a bit worries about me not being well-rounded enough. I’m sk8illed in language (but not languages), mathematics, electronics, art, but have no skills in musical instruments. For some reason I think I’d prefer a wind instrument, though only because they’re small (mostly) I suppose I’d be open to any small instrument.

I spoke with a fellow on the plane interested in becoming a priest. His religion was brought up through another topic (so he wasn’t just barge in into the topic). After I told him I was agnostic he started asking me questions and we engaged in a pretty good debate. I did my part to lead him to my conclusions and he told me what he believed and why; and I did the same. I definitely learned some new things about myself and the limits of my beliefs. I also gained some good insight into how he believed what he believed. What I (somewhat) determined is that people shouldn’t be able to escape their sins by changing their ways at the last minute. The experience was very thought provoking and I wouldn’t mind probing my own beliefs a bit more.

What's important?

12 14 05
Ah, the excitement. I’m bored in my flight. I’ve run out of attempted small talk topics. The clouds we’re flying above are like fluffy white sand dunes that stretch across a desert forever… So I was thinking about fabricating my own reality. Well, actually I was thinking about just accepting that all my reality could just be an illusion. I suspect things would be more interesting were I more mindful of the possibility that everything I see could not be there. What’s interesting is that your memories are mostly devoid of details. Do you remember the face of the last person who washed their hands next to you? Did you even look? In your memories, that person is not John or Joe, It’s just a person. Look at the people around you now. Whom among them are you going to remember in a day, week, month, year? How important can the world around up really be if a vast percentage of it is forgotten

Musings while taxi-ing

12 14 05
We’re on our second flight and I’m finding myself a little tense. I think it’s because I don’t’ usually fly on planes this small. The fear is entirely irrational but its fear nonetheless. Writing about it has calmed me a bit. I think too much. Actually I think I may be getting claustrophobic, coupled with my irrational fear, it’s making for an interesting cocktail. I can’t listen to my music until we take off, so I’ve got to cowboy up. The pilot just applied the breaks suddenly, and I got a mental image of some other plane cutting him off. (after which he would of course hand out the window and shake his fist in the air, while calling him an asshole) (in a New York accent, naturally). I’m upset I didn’t bring my monocular. There were some pretty great views to be seen. We’re taking off. No, someone else is taking off. We’re waiting. Looking at the big planes makes me calm. Here we go… *Death* just kidding. We’re still waiting. I suspect our tiny plane got bullied to the back of the line by the bigger ones. Waiting… The waiting is making it worse. Aahh! The girls next to me is writing in her journal and her writing is much better than mine! My pages always look like the ravings of an angry chimp. Still I like the hurried look, and my girlfriend liked that my notes to her were always (here we go…) (well that was faster and smoother than the big planes) very expressive in their writing style.

Art Style

12 13 05
My art style, I fear, is limiting. I’m used to applying hard, sharp lines to my work which limits my ability to draw softer objects. My charcoal control is such that the drawing may start soft but end up much harder and more overdone than intended. Recently I picked my space pen backup and was once again reminded of its ability as an instrument. I enjoy mucking about with charcoal but ballpoint pen (especially my space pen) affords me much more control and range than my current skill level in charcoal allows. I worry that my skills will become limited as I continue to use the same style. But whatever. I’ve taken to drawing odd shapes and lines and seeing what I can make of them. It’s much more interesting than attempting to draw “X”. My last drawing was done this way. I always surprise myself when I’m done. It’s hard to believe I drew something so well. No matter how much I deny it, I seem to be somewhat skilled.

"Like Groking the Universe"

12 12 05
I openly agree with those internet zealots (and I use the term affectionately) like O’Reilly, who believe the internet is more a state of mind or out new zeitgeist instead of simply a tool for ordering socks in your underwear or locating the nearest Thai place. The internet is the idea of complete interconnectivity of everyone. It’s like the impact of the invention of the phone on steroids. The idea that you can punch some numbers into a handheld device and instantly be talking to someone on the other side of the world is huge! One of so many advancements in communication that we just take for granted. Well the internet takes the idea of connecting people with people and connects people with the collective intelligence and knowledge held in the entire internet. This must be that Web 2.0 they keep trying to explain to us. It’s like ascending to another plain, like groking the universe.

The eee-nternet

12 12 05
For all my posturizing about how great the internet is about data transmission and information exchange I still and skeptical of the connectivity between the web world and the real one. I’m still a little surprised when something I do on the internet causes a package to arrive at my door. I suppose I should stop worrying, clearly my actions on the internet consistently cause my credit card to be charged! Companies like Amazon have done an excellent job connecting our money with their merchandise. I should just accept that there exists a reliable connection between the net and the physical earth. It seems, however, perverse to imply such a thing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Ok, so I'm going to Kentucky to visit with my girlfriend's mom for 5 days.

While the lure of the country was never something I found particularly aluring(sp?) I have yet to experience the... well... experience.

I'm kind of looking forward to it. It's turned into a bit of a vacation during which I'm unsure what I'll occupy myself with. I'd happily bring a set of unfinished projects, however I'd be inclined to think that bringing them would only make me inclined to, you know... *do* them.

In short, I don't know what I'll be doing on this vacation, and I'm not entirely sure that I'd like to.

The past two days at work have been especially taxing (short staffed), and I worry that the remaining 3 days will be difficult for my coworkers. I, however, guiltily savor my escape.

I've been neglecting my drawings for some time, and think they deserve more attention than I've been giving them. Additionally, I've been furiously using my moleskin book to jot down the little bits of nonsense that float to the top of my brain. Both endevors have been fulfilling (and suprisingly fruitful), and I (unofficially) plan to pursue them in my down time.

Another concern of mine is that I *greatly* dislike checking luggage. This is not a problem of packing space, but a problem of what I can't bring with me. If I'm only using carry-ons, I'd have to board the plane sanstools. No knife, pocket knife, swiss card, or multi-tool. I'm *very* rarely without my Benchmade knife. This prospect worries me, but only slightly, as I'm also interested in seeing how it is to be tool-less for 5 days. I'm sure I could do no better than finding it inconveniencing, but suspect I'm only placating myself in preparation for what could prove to be an uncomfortable period.

I'll add my moleskin entries in when I get back, and try to upload some artwork. Thanks for reading.

On wearing tools

I already had my first solution, because I already wore a mini USB drive around my neck. this solution seems to qualify as elegant. My second solution came in the form of an LED attached to a strong clip with an 8 point swivel. It has a slide switch so it stays on, and can clip to just about anything including my moleskin (check off book light...) The clip can attach to glasses, bands, the brim of a cap, whatever. My solution was to clip it to my belt loop. It is covered by my untucked shirt and is still easily accessable without being in the way of anything! I clip it at 9 o'clock and forget about it till I need it. The side of the hips doesn't see a lot of movement or preassure so the location is ideal. Since I obtained my paracord 550 I picked up an $8, 5000 pound carabiner. I took about 5 feet of cord, folded it in half and tied figure 8 knots in it every inch or so. It took some futzing to get the knots the right spacing but it was wirth the time. The current length of the lanyard is about 1/3 of what it was. It makes a tolerable key lanyard. The unknotted spots are big enough to fit the carabiner through to make a loop that should hold about 1100 pounds, and can be used to your creative heart's content. The carabiner is a bit unweildly but it's managable, and it's a small price to pay for its utility.

On carrying tools

I endeavor to be constantly prep aired. My attempts are thwarted regularly by practicality (ah, practicality, my old foe). I list the tools I commonly need (or would need to be prep aired), unfortunately I can't go to work or hang out casually in clothes that would permit carrying all the items. The result is me going to work with what I can fit (mostly) comfortably in my pockets (creating lots of unattractive and thigh-poking bulges in my otherwise nice pants). My first idea for a solution was a crude one. More pockets. I thought the Scott's e-vest approach would work. But no. Furthur thought only left me with more unsightly bulges in my pants or shirt/vest/jacket. I knew there had to be a more elegant solution to my problem. I said in my notes, "stop carrying things, start wearing things." This seems to be the solution, but it's the execution that eludes me.

On tools

To be a human without tools is to be a cat without claws, a rabbit without ears, or a hawk without wings.

We have natural properties that allow us to compete in nature. Our minds allow us to create simple or complex tools that give us the edge against creatures that have more obvious tools. Since we can't "think" our enemies to death we think of ways to accomplish our goals and to maintin our edge in nature. One may agrue that we don't need our tools in modern society, but to be without our natural edge is naturally suicide.