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Trip report, disaster!, Happyness Is, Stories

The Trip Summary

Well, the Kenosha trip was a great success!  I got back on Sunday (I slept on the way back at a rest stop for a few hours), and managed to get back at a reasonable hour of the day too, so Sunday wasn’t a complete waste.  

While I was there, I managed to sell two more projects, one a website and one another automation trip.  So the second or third week in May I’m headed back to Kenosha, WI.  Which is great – every time I make that trip, it’s one more set of bills paid off.

I do have to say though, next time I’m renting a car.  My little Geo gets there and back, but damn it’s not the most comfortable car in the world.  I miss the Amanti – That was a great riding trip car (and it got about the same gas milage as the Geo, dispite being about 2 times as big and a lot more balls under the hood!)  So, I’m adjusting my travel prices accordingly now.  $30 / day above what I charge now would keep my profitability level the same, but, cover the car.

The stay up there was OK – I had a crappy hotel room with wireless Internet access that, I swear, was a dialup line shared onto a wireless router.  It was BAD.   Hit all the usual haunts except The Boat House (somehow setting in a bar by myself drinking isn’t a whole lotta fun anymore.)

Disaster!

While I was in Kenosha, one of the things I hate most in life happened – my hard drive on my PowerBook went tits up.  Fuck.  I had to limp along for the rest of the trip without Internet access at the room (thought I had the mill’s laptop on site, so I could at least check my email)

Last time this happened, I lost A LOT of shit.  Two episodes of World of Gamer Zone, a ton of music, invoices for a year, etc., etc.  Since that last time, I’ve changed how I do things.  My music is actually stored on a separate computer (which doesn’t travel), and is partially backed up on DVD (yeah, only partially though – I need to update my backups), part of my projects are mirrored between the machines.  My email is held online (an IMAP server), the scripts are stored on the Celtx server, my contacts and callender are mirrored onto my phone, and… well, you get the idea – I spread the information around in lots of places to keep things safe.  

This time I lost very little, dispite having a 250 GB drive that was almost full.  Very nice 🙂  I went down and bought an 80 GB internal drive for my laptop (OH JOY OF JOYS!  I’m setting on the couch posting this now – no longer am I tethered to the external firewire drive!) , and have spent most of the night resetting up my development environments and programs that I use.

I have a plan to further improve upon my backup sitation.  In my budget for the movie stuff was money for another 7200 rms firewire external drive for editing.  I’m going to buy two instead, and set up a early morning backup script that just mirrors my documents folder and similar stuff to the backup firewire drive.  Problem solved so I don’t loose anything if it happens again.

While I didn’t loose the script, I did loose a chunck of the new stuff – I hadn’t uploaded to the server in two days when the machine crashed.  No biggie – I wrote the stuff, I’ve got it pretty much memorized after the amount of time I spent writing it 🙂

Some Thoughts From The Road

“If there’s one thing in my life that is missing,

it’s the time that I spend alone,

sailing on the bright clear water.”

– Little River Band, “Cool Change”

Cool change is one of my favorite songs – that time when you get out by yourself, and can clear your head.  No, I’m not someone that likes to live alone, but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a day where I get to be all alone.

Until a while ago after the final death throws of my old life, I wasn’t particuarly introspective.  But if I had a long trip to go on, well, then my thoughts did turn inside and I would think about my life.  An 8 hour drive is an interesting thing – I get bored easily, but my brain has to be engaged enough to not let me fall asleep at the wheel (which I would most assuredly do if I had nothing to keep my brain occupied.)  So after about two hours, the brain starts poking around in all the recesses, looking for things to keep it occupied – things I’m unhappy about, how I feel about the people around me, what I want to do with my life, etc., etc. ,etc.  I usually feel much better about things after a long drive.

This time was… well, it was a bit different.  I usually come out of a drive like that with a lot of brain fodder – unanswered questions about myself, my motivations, etc.

But this time, at both ends of the trip, I got out of the car happy.  There were no real major revalations.  There weren’t any dark recesses that I found that I hadn’t already poked around in within the last couple of months.  The plan I had mapped out for my life is what I really want to do (based on the current information I have to work with – things could change in the future, and the plan will change accordingly.)  

Simply put – I liked everything that came out of that drive, ’cause after 26 cumulative hours of thinking about, I’m doing exactly what I want to do, going exactly where I want to go, and I’m motivated to do by reasons that make me happy (and healthy, but the later is always up for debate 🙂   I have the people in my life that I want to have in my life, and I’ve removed the people I didn’t want there.  

It’s not that I can’t think of how life could be better, it’s just that I’m aware of what’s right and wrong with it (from my perspective – others would disagree, and they are welcome to.  Though I do have a big ol’ can of fuck you in the fridge for a couple of people’s opinion of my life 🙂

Happyness is…

I spent the entire Kenosha trip in a great mood too.  While it’s a bit self delusional, my mood was partially caused by a new feeling:  I’m me now.  I’m whole again (actually, possibly more whole than I’ve ever been), and I know who I am.  

Happyness is knowing yourself and loving yourself 🙂

Oh, don’t get me wrong – two years from now, who I am will change.  A decade from now it’s going to be even more different.  As humans we only quit evolving when we die – until then, “me” will continue to change a bit here and there.  But there’s a core piece that almost never changes about ourselves that we should get to know.  I think I know that part now 🙂

Stories

Cassie left me a comment:  Hey, I was just wondering, have you broken anything lately? Any funny stories to tell? All my stories about you are getting old now. he, he 😉

That goddamned story of how I ended up with a circular bruise on my forehead, which MUST be told to everyone she knows if I’m around 🙂  (That, for the record, is a story of one of two times I’ve had a circular bruise dead center of my forehead.  I have to admit, I end up with some strange accidents and situations! 🙂  And no, I won’t retell that story on here – Cassie was the only witness to that particular moment, so she’s the one that gets to tell it 🙂

But, as usual, that got me to thinking.  See, quite a while back I ran into Roberta Lampe – her daughter went to Cheney HS like 4 years ahead of me, and were our neighbors (as in, the country definition of neighbors – anyone that you could nail with a high powered rifle is a nearby neighbor, and anyone who’s house you can see on a clear day is a “neighbor down the road”.  They were neighbors down the road.  Next door neighbor is, well, whatever house happens to be the nearest to you in a given direction, reguardless of if it’s 1/4 mile away.)  Roberta did something I highly respect – she wrote a book.  It was the story of her grandmother Agnes, how she came to Kansas, what her life was like, etc.

Something that’s nearly completely gone is the “Oral Tradition” – the handing down of stories from one generation to the next by, well, setting down and telling the story.  (Cassie’s telling of the circular bruise is an example of the oral tradition, but, only if others retell the story.)   Verbal storytelling is an art, a combination of entertainment and history.

Oddly enough, part of the death of Oral Tradition is writing and mass media like television and movies.  But neither form managed to pick it up and run with it – very few people are as informed about thier history as people two generations back were (talk to any old person, they can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about your family history, and stories galore! 😉  

What happened?  Well, mass media started handling the entertainment portion.  Instead of a story about your grandma crossing the Oregon Trail, they make a motion picture called “Oregon Trail”, which tells very little of the real story of what happened back then, but it’s much more entertaining.  (Well, until they release “Oregon Trail 2:  The Quickening” and “Oregon Trail 3: End Game”)  

I had a long talk with Roberta (and the owners of the Delano Book Room) about how happy I was to see someone bother to do the research and write down what happened back then.  Yes, there are authors who already do it – but, this is one of those things where I feel the more the merrier.  More people should be writing down thier family history.

And it occured to me yet another potential side benefit of the current blogging trend:  As long as these sites continue to exist, the world has a great snapshot in time, just like those stories were.  Sure, the general public would be interested in my blather three generations from now – but descendants might be.  Blogs tend to a snapshot of now, not nessiarily a long drawn out story from begining to end, but it’s an interesting way that we may accedentally preserve part of our history.

Now circling back around to the original point… 🙂  Cassie had asked about stories, and well, I’ve got a million of ’em.  Hell, I got so many I think I’ve probably forgotten some.  I sat down while I was out of town and wrote a letter (no shit – like, actual pen & paper, in an envelope with a stamp and everything!  I fucking couldn’t find the delete key! 🙂 to someone, and in the margins I had started writing “Remember:  When you hit me in the eye with a lead rope?” and stuff like that.  Basically, just little strange recollections that popped in my head.  Man… I’m thinkin’ though I musta lost a lot of braincells from drinkin’ or something, ’cause it got to the point I was having to really think to come up with good “Remember:”‘s to write in the margins after a couple o’ pages!  

Which leads me back to Cassie’s comment about stories…  no, I have not recently destroyed anyone’s house one accedent at a time.  (I’m a klutz, but not nearly as bad as I used to be.  I’ll make that story #1… 🙂  Jeez, if I’m starting to forget these, why not just post one from time to time in the blog, a sort of combination of sharing ’em among friends, and preserving those old stories before we forget ’em.  Particularly about those people we’ve lost, like Richard.  There are no new stories about people after they are gone.  

So, um, story number one…. 🙂  Cassie and Gennie used to live in a trailer, and Richard and I used to go over there and party pretty much every weekend – lots and lots of alcohol was consumed over there, and I’m not sure how many rounds of quarters we musta played!  (In fact, Cassie & Gennie’s place is where Rich and I first met Meredith)

But I’d get drunk (well, hell, it even happened sober) and inevitably I’d break something.  I broke the closet door.  I tore down the curtains one day.  But the absolute all time best:

Cassie and I were standing on the front porch of the trailer, which was made mainly out of 2 x 4’s.  We’re chatting, and she looks off at something while I’m leaned up against the railing.  The railing, very quietly, gave away, and I landed flat on my back on the fairly soft ground.  Cassie was still talking, and she turns to look at me again… “Davis?  Where’d you go?”  She never heard the railing give way, and never heard me fall.

Yeah, those were the good times, when one could tear up another person’s house, and everyone just thought it was funny as hell. Now if I broke things  in Cassie’s house, I’m sure she’d beat me! 🙂

6:17 PM – 1 Comments – 0 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove – 

Meredith 

“…no, I have not recently destroyed anyone’s house one accedent at a time. “

Have we forgotton the fire (“I thought it was just dirt!”)?  OK, the house still stands, but come on, it’s gotta be at least a footnote!

How about the cutting board?  Small, I know, but curtains can be rehung, the cutting board will never lie flat again…

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