Time Not Found: The Deeper Meaning

Earlier today (shortly after 4PM) I posted the following pic on Instagram and BaceFook. The caption on the pic was "Time not found" with the hashtag of #geekhumor. 

What's funny to me is that I only expected a handful of my geeky friends to like it. You see, when you browse on the interwebs and try to go to a URL (or web page) that isn't there, you get an HTTP://404 error and usually that means "Page Not Found." So...at 4:04, I took the pic. Only it was 4:04. Like the time that was supposed to be on my phone wasn't found.

I'm not sure how many people got it. Then I started looking at some of my friends who clicked 'like' and started wondering why they did so (I would not have pegged some of them for geeks).  So, maybe that's one of those things that is so commonplace now since so many people have such online/connected lives that it's moved from the realm of geek humor to mainstream reference.  I'd like to think not, but it's possible.

The other thing that's possible is that while I was posting the obvious, people that know me were picking up on the deeper meaning.

Time not found.

Time. In modern society time is a commodity. Something that has to be cherished...guarded...not wasted. Spare minutes can be worth millions to the right person. 

But not on The Farm. On the farm, time is in its most pure state. That state where no timekeeping devices are needed, save the sun and moon. So time, as our society has come to know it, doesn't really exist on the farm. 

The time is not found.

I guess that's one of the cool things about taking something creative and putting it out there for the world to see. As soon as you release it, you cease to have control over something. Oh sure...the worlds...the form...the product (be it book, movie, photographs) are of a set form. But the meaning. How someone sees it. How and in what way someone is moved by the piece--that is completely organic. It takes on a life of its own with each person that you expose to your creation. 

I don't suppose it's uncommon in the least for an artist to look at someone's reaction to their work and think, You are so NOT getting this.  The irony is...this time I was the one over-simplifying something (that I still think is kind of funny), and people that see it are the ones essentially telling me Dude...there is so much more to this picture.

And they're right.


Holding Pattern

It's not that I don't have shit percolating up there in my brain bucket. I do. But sometimes, I think to myself...jeebus...with all the crazy shit going on in our world right now, do people want to really stop and read about how trying to find the right messenger bag is the thing that's got me in a tail spin right now?

And to be fair...it's not really a tail spin. It's just one of my little...erm...compulsions...obsessions, if you will. There are certain things I find myself unable to actually let go of. Like the concept that there has to be a perfect back pack for me (there is. It's here). Or the perfect iPad Mini case (Still looking, but the Clam Case is pretty darn close).

And then there's the messenger bag.

There will be a post about it. Because I'm one of those fucked up individuals who can't actually let something go. I try. But there's a piece of it that still eats away at me until I find someway to release it.  This was an interesting revelation to carry with me as I read "Fight Club."  That book....woof. Forget the movie. The movie did a great job of capturing the essence of the book. But the movie did not do a great job of capturing the 'hits you right between the eyes' feeling that the book did. Oh, sure. It came close. But the difference between the movie and the book...between ANY movie and the book is that as I'm reading, the images I put forth will be infinitely more personal and intense than the movie could ever be. So, when the concept of not being our stuff comes up...in the movie it's in reference to Ikea porn. I don't have anything from Ikea. I don't have the Ikea gene. I don't give a fuck about Ikea. But when I'm reading the book and the same section comes up, instead of Ikea my thoughts turn to the 200 Blu Ray movies I have sitting on a shelf. SITTING ON A SHELF GATHERING DUST. I don't watch them. I watch them once and put them on a shelf. What a fucking waste. If you need some movies, let me know. I'm going to sell them. Most of them. Hell, probably all of them. I don't watch them. I don't need them. They are stuff. They require my full attention. Unlike my albums. My albums I can play and still do some other activity. With the Blu Rays, that IS the activity.

More and more I'm becoming convinced that I really don't need a television. I haven't had cable for 2+ years now and haven't missed it.

I have more floating around. I just had to remind myself that I could at least put something out there. Shit or not...I had a way to get the thoughts out of my head.

There will be more, I'm sure. But for now, we'll just cruise up here at 30,000 feet until the tower clears us to land.



Random Meanderings Ad Infinum And Beyond

I have (I am most certain) posted other entries on this blog over the course of it's life entitled "Random Meanderings." In fact, the blog itself used to bear that very name.

It was one of the more basic titles (and likely the most accurate) that it has had over the 7 years it's been alive.

I posted the following status message on BaceFook:

I have often wondered if strippers actually like when guys 'make it rain' with the dollar bills. Or are they like, "jeesh. thanks asshole. There's something else I have to clean up."

I don't necessarily feel that post needs any clarification. However, it amused me to see the conclusion people jumped to (whether in truth or truth hidden in the barb).

Fact is...I was not at a strip club when I came up with that post. Haven't been to one in easily 15 years. Have I been to Gentlemen's Clubs? No. I've been to strip clubs. Two, actually. Working class dives, not teh touristy out of towner types. If you look closely enough, you might see the moisture where she tried to get the last of the cocaine. Was I regular? No. I went 3 times. I had a friend at the time who's father owned a club. We got in for free. He drank for free. I didn't. I was enamored by the concept the first time.  The second time I was cautious (never EVER enter a drinking contest with a stripper. They drink for free. And they will drink your ass under the table. True story). The final time I stopped looking at the women and instead looked at the men looking at the women. And realized that although the glass was more mental than anything, it was still a menagerie. I haven't been back to a strip club since. The same desolation can be found on countless internet web sites, if that's your thing. And the alcohol is a damn site cheaper.

The thing that prompted my little post was an order for Jimmy John's that I had placed. I had a stack of single dollar bills and was counting out the amount I would need for the order in mostly ones. Something in the male psyche equates a stack of singles with a strip club in men over a certain age (namely about a month past puberty). So...my mind went to that comment. And the thought of "making it rain" (which is showering the dancer/show girl/stripper in the bills, as though you are making it rain money on them). And I got to thinking...how fucking rude. Seriously. I don't imagine it's an easy job per se. It's bad enough at a restaurant to leave the tip where your drink was all sweaty on the table. I can't imagine how much worse it is at a strip club. And to have the money thrown at them...like...'here, you pick this up if you want it so badly.'  It's rude. I'm guessing that the dancers have more pity for the clients than the other way around. At least when the dancers clock out, they know it was just a job.

So...yeah. that's where that came from. A modern commentary on the 'thought experiments' of old. What? You didn't think Schrodinger actually had a cat in a box with poison gas pellet, did you? No. Of course not.  That's the beauty of the mind. An infinite number of scenarios can be played out.  And what's even funnier is, that by posting some of the shit that people post in social media, the thought takes on a life of its own.   Some will silently judge me for my post about strippers. Some will put it right out there. And even more still just won't give two shits because That Todd usually says some random shit anyway. He's mostly harmless.

And that's mostly true. Like the planet earth in HHGTTG, I am mostly harmless :-)

Alright. I'm done meandering...for now. Got a couple books to read and a few more to write (not tonight...but some writing will get done tonight).

Have an awesomesauce day, my friends. I will talk to you all tomorrow!



The Hook

John Popper says that the hook brings you back. So what, dear reader, brings you back?

Is it that you---wait.

Did I just fucking do that? Did I start with a quote by a 'famous' person? Oh Mrs. Maser, I'm sorry. I know how you admonished against such contrived devices in support of an otherwise sound thesis (although, how sound could it have been if I needed to quote someone other than me?).

Sorry. Where was I? Oh. Yeah. You. What brings you back? Is it that you read this and feel as though we are having a conversation? To let you in on a secret, we are. I know a few people who have flat out told me that they read my blog whenever they can. I am always somewhat surprised and humbled by that. But those handful are the ones I imagine I am conversing with. Which is to say..you. I hear your responses in my head.

Are you fucking kidding me with this? How can you possibly know what we'd say back to you? Well...I don't. But I don't know that it actually matters. I'm always having these conversations in my head. Sometimes they just happen to coincide with when I am near a keyboard. Or a journal. Or close enough to some other device with which to exorcise them from my brain bucket.

Speaking of...how fucking cool would that be? Something that tooled around in my brain...a nanobot maybe. That would flow along my synapses and as I was making up these posts in my head (the most common time is when I'm driving to work), it would send the details via 4G to some cloud account and I could go back later and read it. The hardest part about writing for me is not actually coming up with things to write, it's the discipline of actually getting that shit out of my head it to some format I can share it with others.

I'd offer to let you take a tour around my head, but I'm not going to lie--it's a rather dark place on most days. I don't mean evil dark. I mean dark in the sense that I'm just barely playing along with the facade around this world and most days I feel like I need to just pack up the essentials...sell off everything else and just hit the road and go where it takes me.

The essentials. What are the essentials? Laptop(s)? Journals? Pen and paper? Instant camera? Those would be high on my list of essential creative outlet tools. Otherwise, clothes. Money. Toothbrush. Towel. And maybe CPAP machine.

It's funny that if I had to jet, that's what my 'essentials' list would comprise. Kinda makes me wonder why all the other shit is in my apartment. Creature comforts. Stuff.

I know, I know. I shouldn't read Fight Club before I start blogging about material self-validation. But it's true. I think the movie (and now the book) resonate with me precisely because I wonder if I really need all the bullshit that I have surrounding me. I already know the answer. But I also know that if I were to take it to the next level and clean all the bullshit out, this place might feel bigger. And lonelier.

The first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club.

And if it's your first time here, you have to fight.

But what are people fighting for these days? A vanishing middle class? Who the fuck knows. All I know is I have 2 Blu-Ray players (one is still sitting in a box--used for 5 hours one night). I have probably close to 100 movies on Blu-Ray and I can't recall the last time I popped one of them in to watch something that I couldn't stream.

Stuff. The essentials. Clearly we as a society have convinced ourselves that what was once a 'nice to have' is now a 'need/must have.' And it's simply not true.

The second rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club.

And with that, this little ramble is coming to an end. I need sleep.

Well, I don't necessarily need sleep, but this body does. This corporeal shell that I've chosen for this ride through space needs sleep.

So, I'll respect it. This time.

See you in the morning!!



A Glitch In The Matrix

This is going to be a quick hit because, quite honestly, I'm engrossed in a book and I want to get back to it.

Not writing it, but reading it. Although, I've just taken something for my back, so I may be coming back to writing later tonight anyway, because somehow it's fun when I'm not entirely sober and overthinking things. The meds dull my self-deprecation just enough to be useful. Not that I'd make a habit of them. I typically don't take anything, but today the neck was not about to let me be.

ANYWAY...that's not why I came.

Something hit me.

I'm reading Ready Player One, the book I just can't put down and the quote to start the second part of the book hits me like a rock.

"I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal."--Groucho Marx

Flash back in my brain to a scene in The Matrix.  They are driving on the way to meet the Oracle. Neo has already been unplugged and 'awakened' so to speak. And he says (in classic Keanu style), "Whoa."

Trinity says, "What?"

"I used to eat there. Really good noodles."

So. Reality is the only place to get a decent meal. Yet several times in the movie, they make a point to show how much better the meals are in the virtual world of the Matrix. A particularly pointed example is when the Agents are courting Cipher by taking him out for a steak dinner.  And conversely, meals in the real world are likened to "runny snot."

As I have come to realize, there are little coincidences, if any, in that first movie.  Meaning either the Brothers Wakowski er...sorry....Siblings Wakowski hated Marx and were rubbing that in his face (again, another layer if you leave off the first name) or they treasured his work and were giving all kinds of sideways nods to it.

Or the pain meds could be kicking in.

Either way, I'm back to the book.

Have a good evening.



Epic Weekend...For Reals This Time

It's no secret that I had something of a shitty week at work last week. Actually, maybe that is a secret to most because I try not to make a habit of bitching about things on bookFace, and I damn sure don't bitch about specifics of my job on this blog (which, even though it has the benefit of security by obscurity, is still less locked down than my FB feed). I don't think either of those things are productive nor, in the end, healthy.

Suffice to say, though, that last week had some serious what the fuck just happened moments (and not in a good way).  By the time Friday rolled around, I was most definitely ready for the weekend. I was most definitely up for whatever. And up for shit to be epic.

I was not disappointed.

I left early (5PM) on Friday and headed to bowling. On the way, I got a call from the Laser Spine Institute. I had called them to see what it would take to actually get a laser spine. I would never be as cool as a flying shark with a laser on its back, but hey--a guy can dream, right?!? Actually I had called them as one of my 2 options for a second opinion. They had reviewed the MRI, they said, and had good news. The good news is, yes--I did still need back surgery. However, I was a candidate for their less invasive procedure. THAT was excellent news. Based on what they were telling me, the time that it would take me to actually get cleared to go back to work was less than what I had previously heard.  I was elated to say the least. Pandora was immediately switched from More Than a Feeling radio to Part Rock Anthem radio.

There may have been shitty rush hour traffic, but it didn't bother me. By that point I was flying.

I got to the bowling alley to find that we were bowling my friends--the other UDC team. How epic could it be?? The answer-very.  They couldn't beat us even if they took all four games, but they made a good run for it. The last game though. Whoa. The last game I bowled my fucking balls off. I got a turkey (my third ever). I got my highest game ever (185). And we beat them. Not only did we beat them, but I beat one of their best bowlers (by a pin) and another of their best bowlers beat me (by a pin).

In short--the epic-ness continued.  I'm sad that the bowling season is over. I'll likely try to find another league through the spring/summer. But dude....it ended on a totally righteous note.

From bowling at The Palace, about 20 or so peeps from our league headed over to Sequoia Lanes. Apparently they had karaoke. Needless to say, I was in. The crowd was great. The hostess was fantastic and fun. And I sang...a lot (which is unusual in the realm of karaoke when the host/hostess always seem to have their favorites). My songs included:
Love Shack
The Humpty Dance
Turn the Page
Hey Jude
and I assisted on No Sleep Til Brooklyn

See what I mean? Epic. I got home from Sequoia about 230-ish on Saturday. Which seemed to me to be the perfect time to walk to Schneider's and get some donuts. Because why not?

Saturday I rolled out of bed (alarm was set for 1030, made it on my own til about 10).  I grabbed a quick shower and headed down to Matt's. It was National Table Top Day. But beyond that, it was our D&D day. I'd been waiting for this for a month. Some issues at work caused me to miss our last session, so I was really jonesing to have the DM try to kill me. And damned if he didn't try. Something about being infected by a poisonous spore pod that if not treated in 22 hours would cause me to then explode--releasing more spores and infecting everyone in a certain radius. Basically unleashing the D&D equivalent of a zombie apocalypse. There was another time in the session where there was a potential of a TPW (total party wipe). In short, it was a great session.

Epic, you might say.

From there it was off to meet a group of friends to head to the Newport to see the 20th Anniversary tour opening show of Wish You Were Here, a Pink Floyd tribute band out of Cleveland. The group I went with had seem them many times. Yet somehow, due to weird timing (I had to go in ahead of them to get my ticket), I got to actually meet the band. AND get my picture taken with them.
They even signed the back. Such a great group of guys. What's funny is, in all the times that my friends had seen them perform, they never got to meet them or get pix taken with them. I go my first time and get to do both.  Epic.

The show. Holy shit the show. It blew my mind. There are no real words. I have loved Pink Floyd since I was a kid. I have always wanted to see them live. After Roger Waters left the band, that  hope diminished. Now, with Rick Wright passed, there's no way to see the Pink Floyd I had once hoped to see.

None of that matters now. The emotional...the spiritual experience that I had always hoped to see at a Pink Floyd concert was manifest Saturday night. These guys were legit. And you can bet that I will see them perform any chance I get.

The rest of Saturday night was kind of a this is too fucking cold for spring kind of blur. We wound up at a club on Campus/High St called The Big Bar or some shit like that. An actual club. With an actual doorman who had a "list." We weren't on it. But a guy knew a guy and we were in. That experience is a whole post in itself. Suffice to say, I am not a club kid.  

From there we made our way to Apollo's (the Gyrodome). It has moved since I last played there in a band (over 20 years ago). There's no stage anymore. It's no longer a bar. But a straight up gyroshack. Which is cool. Still have good gyros. 

Rolled in mi casa about 330 Sunday morning and slept the sleep of the dead until about 1PM when a cop knock woke me up from a dead slumber.

Only it wasn't a cop. It was two dudes from some church. Fuckers were lucky I bothered putting on pants.

The rest of my Sunday was rather lazy and uneventful. I did laundry. I did some reading. And some napping. 

And I ordered a t-shirt. Ron Burgundy (from Anchorman dressed at Han Solo)....a piece called Han Burgundy. 

Nothing like ending an epic weekend with an epic t-shirt.

Alright kiddoes...off to work I go.  Have a fantastically awesomesauce Monday my friends!!



Quick Hit Then Back To Work

I'm reading a lot about what it takes to make it as a writer.

And what's funny is that it all boils down to basically the same thing.

Read. A lot. Read every fucking thing you can whether it's the genre you intend to 'make it' in or not.
Write. Write every damn day. Write even if it sucks. Because the more you write the less it will suck.

So...that's what I've been trying to do. On days I don't write. I try to read. I need to do better about writing every day even if it's only these bullshit blog posts that like..what...7 people read?

I did. I know more people read these than that. And that's kind of cool (and slightly  oh geez...you read THAT?!) to me.

What's funny to me is that the perception that making it as a writer is easy. Easier say than making it as an actor or rock drummer.   It's not. There are very few rock star authors. Am I going to be one of them? Fuck man. I don't know. I don't have a clue. I'm gonna just write. And write. And fall on my face a time or 6. And then write about how falling on my face a 7th time would have really made for a bad screenplay but someone on the WB probably wants to option it anyway.

But yeah. That's kind of where I'm at.

I decided to focus on my health. Part of me thinks that if I lose some of this extra weight that my back will feel better and maybe I can prolong the inevitable just a little bit longer. So that's the first step.

In the coming days (weeks, months, shit been trying for a year or two now) I'm going to be clearing out the clutter. I think going to more of a minimalist approach is really the way to go. I know with less clutter, I feel better. More balance. And I figure by now, if there's shit I haven't used since the divorce, I probably don't need it at this point (If you need laptop bags or iPad Mini cases, I can hook you up!).

I am contemplating getting rid of my Blue Rays and DVDs, but I'm not sure. That might be a little too Tyler Durden at this point. One thing I did make a pact (with myself) to do was to only watch TV one day a week. That day will be Sunday. I have a few shows I can catch up on from the previous week.

It seems extreme, but I have to tell you that I think it's going to work out very well.  I tried it for the first time last night. I got home. Surfed Facebook a bit. Did some laundry. Played a little Words with Friends. Threw together a plate of Easter leftovers for dinner. I got all my laundry done and folded and put away (a task that normally spans a few evenings).

And I didn't feel completely sapped by the end of the night.  Plus I think it help me make better food decisions. Nothing is easier when watching TV than getting online and ordering a pizza. Didn't watch TV last night, ergo no pizza. Sooo...yeah. We'll see how it plays out after a few weeks. So far, though, I think it's going to be a good thing.

Alright. That's about all the time I have to write at the moment.  Gotta get back to work.

Have a great rest of your day my friends.



Apple vs. Android

I'm going to start this post by saying quite simply: I don't care.

A friend of mine posted on the bookfacer about issues she was having with her phone. It looks as though she may have inadvertently started a Apple vs. Android debate. I chimed in with my 2 cents. I told her that I went to iPhone 3 years ago and haven't looked back.

I'm not an Apple lover. I'm not an Android Hater. I'm not firmly ensconced in any OS's camp. I was brought up on DOS, but also used AppleII at school. I had a Commodore Vic20 but also used the crap out of my friend's Tandy. I had a PowerBook about 15 years ago until a friend dropped it rendering it useless. And I have had Windows PC's and laptops up until 2 years ago when I loaded Windows 8 on my Samsung i7 laptop and hated the user experience.

It's all about the user experience.

And the price.

Being artistic, growing up I bought in to the marketing hype that Apples were for creatives and IBMs were for business. So I always wanted an Apple...later Mac.  Funny thing is, I found quite a few ways to be creative on the PC side of things. So I discovered that the marketing was simply that--marketing.  The cost of entry made it so that I was firmly anchored on the  DOS/Windows platform for most of my life.

The 2 things that are important for me in technology are cost of entry and user experience. Generally I can forgive a somewhat shitty user experience for a good cost of entry. Case in point Windows vs. Mac. Macintosh computers have a superior user experience in my opinion. But they also have a 3 to 1 ratio of cost of entry vs. their PC counterparts. So for the most part I could forgive Windows UI. Until Windows 8. That OS annoyed the shit out of me. So much so that I wound up buying a used MacBook from a co-worker for $300. It had 1/4th the specs of my Samsung laptop but was instantly more usable to me. I restored the Samsung to factory and gave it to my Dad. I haven't looked back.

That brings me to the phones. I had been an Android user for years on the phone front. The first week at my new job 3 years ago and my phone dies. It locks up hard. There is no reset to factory, there is nothing that can be done. It's bricked.   I take it in to Verizon and after 8 minutes of doing the same things I did to try to bring it back (which I told them I had done), they reached the same conclusion. It was dead.

I told them that I needed their least expensive Smart Phone. I didn't care what kind it was. I wasn't sold on platform at that point. It was an economic decision. I needed to make and receive phone calls and texts and I needed to be able to retrieve work email.

They started out on a $150 Android phone. I asked again if that was their cheapest Smart phone. They said that it was the cheapest Android. I asked again if it was their cheapest smart phone. Well...no...we have an 8GB Apple iPhone 4 for $99. Great. Wrap it up.

So...a $50 price difference is what got me on iPhone.   A year later when I had the chance to buy the MacBook, I did. And I am on my 2nd iPad. I had an iPod but sold it this past Christmas. To say I'm embedded in the Apple infrastructure is a fair statement.   But...I'm not a zealot or a hater. Now that I'm on iPhone, it's easier to stay on. So I do.

I use a Windows PC at work. I connect to Windows and Unix servers as a daily part of my job.
I have a Windows 8.1 tablet that I bought this past Christmas (for cost of entry reasons).
And I just recently picked up a Toshiba Chromebook2 running the Chrome OS.

Obviously, I'm not a platform evangelist by any means. I look at hell well something is going to work and fit my needs and base my decision on that. I don't care which platform it runs on.

Apple vs. Android? I don't really care. Go with what works best for you.

Have a great Sunday my friends!

Dead Fish, Fat Pants, and Fat Heads

My fish died today. It was a betta fish that I had named "Tester." Tester was alive on Saturday when I was at work dealing with all of the fun stuff that had set my weekend askew to begin with.  This seemed like a perfect end to the weekend.

I came in to work this morning and went to feed Tester. Even going so far as to actually put food in. It was a good 3 minutes before I figured out he was actually dead.

That fucking figures.  I tried to give myself the pep talk about perspective, but nope. Wasn't working.

And then I realized that, no matter what role people place me in at work, I was in fact allowed to have a bad day. I was allowed to feel sadness. To react to bullshit with something other than a smile that said 'things are going to be alright.'

I'm not a fucking idiot. I know it's $5 fish. I know it can be replaced. But it wasn't really the fish. It was the routine. It was the surprise moments of joy. It was the ability to just watch Tester for a few minutes and feel calm. Given everything that is going on in our world, I didn't want to post this on Facebook. It's not like losing a dog, or a friend. It's a fucking fish. So I didn't want all of the 'sorry for your loss' posts (not that there would or should be any...did I mention it was a fucking fish?!?!).

Thing is...the loss was not from the death of the fish. The loss was from the joy that having that little bugger in my life brought.   The true loss is from the fact that I did derive so much joy from a $5 fish. It's so odd. A co-worker took the death even harder than I did.

So...I started the above post Monday. This past Monday. And to be completely honest, I'm sure I had a direction in mind for the post, but I'll be damned if I can remember it now, 6 days later.

If it's any kind of indication of the week I had, I can only remember taking 1 maybe 2 actual lunch breaks at work. The remainder of the week I was scarfing things down on the fly. Things were a bit hectic at work, but 3 years later I still love the job and still believe that I can make a difference--both of which are vital to job satisfaction.

I know that I had put something on here about Fat Pants because I had to break them out this week, but truthfully--I don't really want to talk about that now.

I went to the viewing of a friend Tuesday. I shot his son's Senior Photos and shot his wedding.  I saw my photos on their memory boards at the funeral home. I felt humbled. To know that I had a hand in capturing their memories truly was a blessing to me.

I'm going to go ahead and post this now. It's not as complete as it was in my head when I started writing it last week, but I don't know that I can change that now.

Happy Sunday my friends!


Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...