What i’ve been doing since.

It’s been a long, long time since I was active as a blogger, and i’m not going to go recap everything in my life since FEBRUARY 7, 2014, the last time I wrote a blog entry (before Brandon’s death, which is where it all ended with losing my server). And anyway most of the people who used to follow me here either are Facebook friends now, or follow me in Instangram, or are long lost as far as this place is concerned.

But, life moves and on I figure a few things would be worth mentioning, if not in one post, then in several.

In no particular order, then, i’ll start with the most significalt personal achevement.

This was something I posted a year ago, so this would now say ‘about two years ago’:

One year ago this week, I quit talking about taking up the guitar, and actually did it.

I dug my old 80’s epiphone strat out of storage, re-strung it, and tried to remember more chords and that E, G and F.And with the aid of tutorials on youtube (which didn’t exist 30 years ago), I starting over at the beginning.

A year later, i’m still working. I’m not a natural musician, but week by week, i’m learning. Learning technique, improving my ear, getting vaguely closer to having a sense of rhythm. I’m a long way from ‘let’s jam’ or getting up in front of anyone and getting through a song. But i’m not in any hurry, because it’s not about that; it’s about the challenge, and about (i admit it) the gear. I now have a couple of decent guitars i love playing, a hand-made amp and some cool pedals, and I’ve met a lot of really talented, unique gear makers and players who inspire me to keep going and keep learning.
Because, as Lemmy once said, “If you think you are too old to rock ‘n roll, then you are.” And I don’t think there’s any such thing .

It’s been a long, slow process; I”ve taken lessons for the better part of a year and while my practice hasn’t been quite as consistent since I posted that in November ’18, I a still working hard to build on my rudimentary abilities. I’m getting slowly better at it, and better at getting good sounds, which is in many ways as important to me as being skillful.

Am I anywhere near being on a stage? No. But it remains a goal. I don’t have any dreams of being in a band or making records – but some day i’ll be able to play a song with my (vastly more talented) friends, without it being tragic. Hey, it’s a goal, anyway.

Not My Guitar

Locked out, but damned sexy.

I got myself blocked from my own website somehow – I couldn’t possibly explain how (because I don’t know), but thanks to Brandon, who is a gentleman-and-a-scholar, and keeps this site and many others up and running for vastly inadequate pay, I’m back in and can resume inaction voluntarily, rather than enforced inaction.

So there’s that.

Meanwhile, there’s this: you know you want some.

Shot in Mexico – Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

blogiversary 2013

Wow.

Nine years ago, I started this blog.

That’s an incredibly long time in internet years.

I kind of want to load my posting data into a grapher to see how my posting frequency curve goes. From frequent to really really frequent, and then a long slide into almost-never.

I bet you could lay that against blogging trends and the growth a facebook and twitter and see the implosion clearly; as social media finally got a real foothold, blogging crashed and burned.

That probably makes sense. Blogging was a fad, something of an era; every fucking person on the internet seemed to have a blog for a six month period there. And then they didn’t. Abandoned blogs are the ghost town of the decade; people will tour them some day, dodging tumble weeds and spam links and stealing mementos.

Actually they won’t. Because unlike ghost towns, blogs leave nothing behind but empty hearts and minds. No blood no guts no brains at all.

There are exceptions, obviously. Great writing happened, and is still happening, in the context of blogs. No, the issue wasn’t a lack of content, it was the opposite. It was that signal-to-noise problem that chases us around the internet; when something works, really works, it has the life span of a snowflake. Perfect, brilliant, ephemeral, and then gone, lost in the waves of its own success. The sheer mass of irrelevancy and stupidity swamped the goodness and buried it.

But you know that. And anyway you’re not reading; who reads blogs anymore?

I was trying to figure out where to start in this update. Where am I now, and where was I last time I actually used to write about it?

Last time I had double-digit updates in one month was November ’09.

Last time I broke 20 in a month was january ’07.

Stats for 2011: 32 updates.

Stats for 2012: 8 updates.

So you can see where I sort of abandoned the idea of talking about myself on the internet. I’m pretty sure that corresponds to various life events, though I frankly have neither the desire nor the strength to try to correlate it.

Bottom line is, my life’s been complicated, but it the worst, most trivial and tedious way.

Long time readers (I don’t know if that’s plural any more) know I’ve been through some incredibly painful crap the last few years; to the point where I got really self-destructive, made really bad choices, nearly lost my job, and wrote incredibly well.

This current wave isn’t like that. In the last couple years, it’s that shoelace shit; a job that just keeps getting busier, kids having various breakdowns, family schedules of unimaginable complexity, financial troubles, health issues (mine and others). It comes down to the minutiea of the ordinary: too much to do, too little time to do it.

And I’m getting old.

in November of 2011, I turned 50.

Ok, I know, 50 looks good on me. The other day, a sexy MILF in a Peets coffee addressed me as ‘young man’ (there’s no way she’s more than my age). I can still get away with dressing like a teenager – skinny jeans, slouchy beanie, combat boots, tee-shirt over thermal. And it’s not the grey – yeah, the beard is largely gray now, but gray in that steely way that looks weather-beaten from hard riding. And I’m at the lowest weight of my adult life; from a high north of 250, I’m down around 210; for the first time ever, I weigh what it says on my driver’s license.

No, the age is on the inside. I feel it in my fucking joints. My shoulders tend to ache now, and my knees can’t take as much pounding. I can’t drink anymore (it just makes me sleepy and gives me a headache); there’s gin in my liquor cabinet that’s been there wince – well, I was drinking dirty martinis with dark-haired girls when I bought that bottle. I fall asleep too early and sleep like crap these days. And my eyes – I carry three pairs of glasses with me now, far, near, and dark.

Boring, right?

Fuck you. I’m still angry and dangerous, and I absolutely will do the wrong thing to you given half a chance. You still should not trust me with yours wives, your your girlfriends, your sisters or your daughters. The difference is, I’m a little bit smarter and move a little slower.

What I won’t do is get old gracefully. I can’t seem to avoid getting old, but I can avoid acting old. I drive like I always have – get out of my fucking way, you – I ride motorcycles, I scuba dive (deep), I go out of my way to do the more dangerous things. What age tends to bring to this is only that I now think about how long recovery will take before I go do something (sorry, honey, I’m not 25 anymore).

I’m not afraid of being an old guy. I just hate having any limits placed on me, you know?

skull ring links back in place

Ok, it’s been way too long since I’ve been able to give link-love to my skull ring frineds – sorry guys, life has a way of giving us lemons, right?

I’ve finally started to get ’em in place again.

I can’t change the sort order, so it’s in the default alpha sort.

There are some still missing, I have to delve into the archives to get ’em all out, but if you see hits, let me know.

Again, apologies for dropping ’em, when I cut over to wordpress, thats’ one of the design elements that didn’t port.

More on this later, I have some new silver to post pix of.

Here are the ones I have live:

http://courtsandhackett.com
http://crazypigdesigns.com
http://davescustomskulls.com
http://jewelersinc.net
http://mtmaloney.com
http://rubycrush.co.uk
http://thegreatfroglondon.com
http://tonycreed.com

finally un-broken

My blog’s been broken for some number of weeks or months, due to some stupidity of my own (removing the .htaccess file without making a copy of it first).

Nobody noticed.

Still, I un-broke it for now, and will shortly be back to posting nothing but pics and the occasional promise the wrote more.

Or something.

I remember when I used to be a blogger

I remember when I used to be a blogger, rather than a guy who occasionally updates web pages.

It was a long time ago, wasn’t it?

I can’t even find a good way to graph my blogging frequency anymore. I know it used to be daily, and then several weekly, and then once in a while. Lately, it’s more like almost never.

Sometime in 08, I think it was, than the slide started; from there, it just seems like little by little I’ve given up.

I don’t mean on blogging – whatever. I mean on writing.

The last think I wrote that wasn’t just about an experience was two, maybe three years ago, aside from a couple of abortive tries and collaboration on erotica. The last thing I finished was a year or more before that.

I’m so rusty, my fingers don’t even remember how to type anymore (it took me three tries to get the work ‘type’ correct). My hands ache when I try, more from disuse than from anything else. The muscles have forgotten what its’ like to type more than the hundred or so lines I need to update a wiki page or type out a report.

I don’t even remember how I used to do this; I try to remember writing Wanton, and while I remember the feeling, I can’t figure out how I actually did it.

I started this blog – back in the dim, distant past in blog-years – with the express intent of using it to improve my writing. That never worked; or to be more specific, it got me writing something i hadn’t before (introspective essays), but didn’t help me with fiction – because it was a distraction.

Now, though? now, I’m lucky if I manage enough attention span to tweet one thing or to update my facebook status.

I was going to say I don’t know what it is, but that’s not true. I know what it is, I just don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve been in a sate of have to do something for so long now, I can’t quite my brain long enough to put words together with anything like flow.

This was bad enough, just with the ordinary stuff. Work – making the Greatest Smart Phone Ever (and the best tablet you’ve ever seen and didn’t even know you needed) isn’t just a full time job; it’s a lifestyle. We’re a seven day a week shop, and my area is to be the glue that keeps the 24 hrs per day stuff (the compute farm) going. So I’m working even when I’m not working, always aware that nothing holds this together but me. I dream compute farms and CAD tool licenses at night. And then, there’s the part about being the father of two teenager girls, which isn’t ever an easy job, even for very low needs children. Then there’s the rental house, my own house, and all the rest. Life has caught up with me in ways I didn’t quite anticipate; being The Dad to not just two, but four women (including my mother in law) takes it’s toll.

But now – well, that’s a whole ‘nother entry about Mental Health Issues. But that’s another entry, if I ever get to it.

But the bottom line is, finding even half an hour to gather myself and write, these days, is more than I can manage.

I need it. I need to put words to my feelings, to tell stories. And I fucking can’t.

I don’t see an end to this, I truly don’t. I know it has one – I just can’t imagine how or where or when.

And my best tool has deserted me again.

one damned thing after another

I have, I’m not kidding, five entries sitting in draft state that I’m almost done with. But trivial time suck keeps eating my final touch ups.

The latest one; a reminiscence about my fondness for pulp writers, interrupted by the need to go buy pet supplies. My war against the ants, nearly won, has moved into my kids guinea pig’s cage. I just had to race to the store and buy some supplies to build a temporary cage, until we can either figur eout how to get all the ants out of coroplast without insecticde, or until we can get more coroplast to build a new cage.

Of course, I can’t do that now, because in ten minutes, I’m leaving for a friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah in the Napa area (which is an over-night run).

So one more entry almost done, goes into mothballs.

This is getting frustrating. I’d describe all the travails of the last month (surgeries, injured limbs, amputations, illnesses), but i don’t have time.

On the other hand, if we’re lucky, Ray will post an entry so at least there’s SOMETHING to read!

Meanwhile, it’s time to kilt up and run. The good thing about Lisa’s mitzvahs (bat and bar) is that she knows how to throw a fuckin’ party.

big five – the wood anniversary

Five years.

1,175 entries.

6,000 comments.

Three ISP’s, a half dozen servers, several crashes.

It’s been a bit of a ride, huh?

Five years ago yesterday I started blogging. You can read about that here or here or here or here.

And each yeah it seems like I have less to say about it.

This last year has been a fucked up ride. If you’re reading you know a bit about it. If you haven’t been, feel free to. It’s been a terrible year for me creatively; I’ve written fuck-all, and I’m not seeing that get better yet. Blogging has fallen victim to all this, but so has every other form of self-expression I have.

Here’s to a change in all that.

To all you bloggers out there, write something. Come up for air now and then. Facebook and twitter and myspace ain’t enough.

For me – I have more to say; I don’t know why I’m having so much trouble saying it.

Meanwhile, tonight I go look at a sketch for my backpiece, and tomorrow I pick up my thruxton. Speed and pain, baby.