My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for the 'Life' Category

Tattoo #85

April 01st, 2019 | Category: Life,Tattoos
Tattoo by Aaron Garcia

Tattoo by Aaron Garcia

So, tattoo number eighty-five is absolutely one of my most ambitious tattoos. I haven’t kept up with my tattoo writings (or any writings, but I aim to remedy the situation), this one happened WAY back, at a tattoo convention.

It’s a rendering of the cover-art off of Nirvana’s third, final, and I think best record, In Utero. In Utero’s cover-art is a perfect metaphor for the record itself; Kurt Cobain took all the pain, the anger, the sadness he felt inside, and put it outside, it all bled out through every lyric.

This has always been my approach to writing, total honesty, all my light, all my dark, everything inside laid bare for anyone who cares to see.

This image will never not suit me, otherwise I wouldn’t be me.

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It does other things!

March 31st, 2019 | Category: Life

So, I’m returning to the blog with a rant.

I am sick unto death of people acting like their phones and computers are simply Social Media Machines, Machines that are really sort of a burden. We have all these national “unplug” days, people gush about how freeing it is to put away their devices to get away from Twitter, Facebook et al, “and just curl up on the sofa with a book!” Because, you know digital books are a myth, our devices are simply locked Social Media kiosks. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry buys his dad one of the early digital organizers; it was an address book, a dictionary, an alarm clock, a date book, and a tip calculator. It had all sorts of functions, but as far as Jerry’s dad was concerned, it was ONLY a tip calculator. A really expensive tip calculator. So, Jerry eventually screams in frustration, “It does other things!” Whenever I hear someone say with relief, and a certain smugness, how amazing it is to unplug, to put away their technology, thus unchaining themselves from Facebook, I just want to scream, “It does other things!”

First, if you’ve allowed technology to become a burden, you’ve fucked up. If you spend six hours arguing about politics on Facebook, or uploading selfies to Instagram only to feel miserable, that’s on you. People blame Social Media for eating so much time, but that isn’t Social Media’s fault. Social Media is only a misery if you make it a misery. Also, if you look at your iPhone or MacBook or whatever with dread because you fear getting sucked into some Social Media vortex, remember, it does other things!

I spend… a lot of time with my Macs, and Social Media is just a tiny fraction of what I do. Our devices are libraries full of books, movie theaters that only show the movies we love best, concert venues where our favorite artists are always there to play. Our devices allow us to create art, visual art, word art, art for our ears. Our devices let us say, I love you, to that one person who means everything, even if they’ve gone far away. Our devices do so much, way more than Social Media, or calculating tips.

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WordPress 5.0… it’s here!

December 06th, 2018 | Category: Life

Well, I’m now running WordPress 5.0, and it’s different, drastically different.

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Ah ha!

September 19th, 2018 | Category: Life

So, apparently I don’t HAVE to change the look of the blog in order to use WordPress 5’s drastically new text-editor… and thus I won’t! I’ve always liked the look of the blog, it’s very 90s.

I?m very very 90s.

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New server, new look

September 18th, 2018 | Category: Life

 So, the blog is on its new server, a server that supports WordPress 5… I’m also trying new looks for the blog, looks that support WordPress 5. Don’t worry, I’m just experimenting, the blog isn’t permanently ugly!

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So way behind…

July 23rd, 2018 | Category: Life

I’m so way behind in my writing, it’s fucking ridiculous. I have, like, 15 tattoos I haven’t posted. I don’t even think I have goddamn pictures of some. I’m vexed, at myself, at others. This is supposed to be a something like a live memoir (as there’s other non-memoirish writing), and I’m not memoiring, or othering . Apathy, depression, ennui, whatever, the lack of writing is my fault. I just have to make myself write until something clicks or sticks or whatever voodoo happens to us writers who aren’t hearing the words.

Also, I have to move the blog to a new server, otherwise the blog goes dark.

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Things to Do: Fire a gun with a switch

July 06th, 2018 | Category: Life,Opinions

So, two Saturdays ago I got to scratch another item from my Things to Do list, and it was quite the ballyhoo; I went to a local shooting range, Reload, and I got to fire a Glock 17 with my switch. Now, for those unfamiliar, a switch is a piece of assistive technology that I use to control my various Macs by way of wiggling my eyebrows to operate an on-screen keyboard. Let’s get all the technical stuff out of the way before I go on about anything else.

The gun firing scheme was created by an absolute fucking genius, Bill Binko, from ATMakers.org. The really hard part was finding something to safely, firmly hold the gun in place during the firing. The good folks at Ransom International were kind enough to send us a Ransom Rest, basically a sort of vice specifically designed for holding guns in place for precision aiming. The Rest is used in ballistics testing, it’s been used on MythBusters, it’s a well-respected tool. Also, I didn’t get just any Rest, I got the very first Rest, created by the late Chuck Ransom. He was the only person to ever use said Rest, it was kept in a glass case at the home-office with a little plaque bearing Chuck Ransom’s name. Well, by now it’s back in its case, and my name is being added to the plaque. Very unnecessary, and very nice. I was also given a bullet from a totally kind smith at Ground Zero Reloading; I fired this round first. All that taken care of, Bill created a little piece robotics for pulling the trigger, it was a little robotic arm attached to a chain attached to the trigger. The arm was controlled over wi-fi via a hand-coded web interface; I pointed Safari toward the robot’s IP address, got a camera view over the gun barrel and two buttons to arm then fire the gun. A Glock 17 doesn’t need cocked, the “arm” button was simply there for safety purposes, just so everybody was absolutely 250% certain the gun wouldn’t go off accidentally. Bill didn’t know my level of gun awareness… better safe than having me blow off Bill’s fingers! Using a web interface is ideal for this sort of project, the gun could be fired from any platform. I used a MacBook running macOS High Sierra, but I could have used anything.

Gun Interface

At any rate, that, in a nutshell, is how I fired a gun with a switch. Of course, most people want to know the why

I’m an ultra-liberal, anti-National Rifle Association, anti-all things Trumpian. I think our antiquated gun laws are disgusting. It seems that in America, a person’s right to obtain any sort of gun as quickly and easily as possible is more important than the lives of children. The Second Amendment was written during a time of muskets, not AR-15s, Glock 17s, it’s time to completely overhaul our gun laws. Guns are too readily available, our background check system is a joke, we don’t require psychological testing for gun buyers, we allow civilians to own military-grade weapons, we are irresponsible about gun control. I understand guns aren’t our only problem, but they are a problem, a problem that needs addressed. So, these being my firm beliefs, why would I want anywhere near something I’m so against?

The short answer is, I’m not against guns. I’m against our irresponsible gun laws, I’m against our lax gun regulation, I’m against people using guns for ill, but I’m not against guns. I’ve been a fan of Star Wars, Alien, Tarantino films, Predator (though Predators is probably my personal favorite Predator movie), any zombie movie, whatever, forever. As a kid, my mom never censored my fiction, I learned right and wrong, fake and real. I didn’t need censored. Thus, guns as part of fiction, guns as objects have always fascinated me. As real-world pieces of engineering, as props in films and video games, I’ve always loved guns. I mean, when someone cocks a shotgun before they relieve a zombie of its head, that click-click sound is cool. Lately, I really dig the John Wick movies; Keanu Reeves is a top-tier assassin who rains vengeance down upon an underworld that wronged him, using gorgeously engineered firearms. I think you can admire a gun as an object, as something used for fun, and still be strongly against the ways in which people use guns to perpetrate absolutely vile acts of cruelty.

Life isn’t black-and-white, it’s gray. Guns are surrounded in gray. When John Wick throws his empty gun at a guy’s face, draws a fresh one, then puts the guy down permanent-like, it’s so over the top it’s laughable. If you firmly grasp the difference between reality and fiction, it’s possible to see the humor in John Wick, while feeling empathy and disgust when a cop shoots an unarmed black man ten times in the back. You can hold guns in your mind and see them in two totally separate ways. Taking a Glock 17 to a range and blowing holes in paper targets using my assistive technology was spectacularly fun, and I don’t regret it, yet if I had to point said gun at a living being I’d be sick to my stomach. Again, fiction vs. reality comes into play.

I don’t see enjoying guns for their own sake as morally wrong, intent is critical. My personal intent regarding guns is simply fun, and to exercise an aesthete’s taste in fancy weapons. That’s why I wanted to fire a gun with a switch, I like them. I understand their power, their ability to end lives en masse, but I don’t think guns themselves are the problem. The problem is that the gun-lobby has D.C. in a death-grip, we haven’t seen meaningful gun legislation in thirty-some years. You know, cars used to be really fucking dangerous; seatbelts were optional, a fender-bender could become an inferno because of faulty gas tanks, cheap parts and cut-corners were a-okay! It took legislation to make cars better than coffins-on-wheels. Guns are too potentially deadly to go unregulated, it’s our moral failing as American voters that we have yet to demand that our legislators do the job they aren’t doing.

At any rate, everybody involved in my gun firing quest was super nice. The folks at Reload closed off an entire room for us on a very busy Saturday. The good folks at Ransom International sent us the key piece of hardware that was the foundation for the other pieces of our project. Ground Zero Reloading took the time to craft me my first round. Then, of course, Bill Binko, the genius who not only solved the puzzle, but also crafted most of the pieces. Absolutely everyone who took part in this project has my thank you!

It’s a little fatey that I should fire a Glock 17… Way back when DVDs were a thing, one night Sara brought out the boxed set of this BBC show by Simon Pegg, Spaced. The show pretty much encapsulates everything I love (it also made me fall even harder for Sara), it’s like, Simon Pegg in Sandbox Mode. Spaced was basically just practice for his eventual films. Anyway, watch episode 2 and you’ll get it about the Glock 17.

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Knocking out a Thing to Do

June 23rd, 2018 | Category: Life

So, I have this Things to Do list, it is exactly as the name says; a list of things I want to do. I really avoid the term, Bucket List, which sort of brings to mind death and fulfilling one’s lifelong dreams, probably on the double-quick, maybe involving T.D. Jakes. My list isn’t that. I mean, sure, a few of the items are lifelong desires, but others are just fun, like the day one of my all time favorite assistants and I went “theater hopping.” Sarah and I spent an entire day sneaking from theater to theater, watching really really really bad horror movies. That wasn’t a lifelong goal, but it’s one of my fondest memories.

Anyway, today, I’m off to knock out another Thing… I’m going to fire a Glock 17 with my switch. Now, why would an ultra-liberal, anti-NRA, anti-all things Trumpian such as me want to do such a thing? I’ll explain all the particulars when I get back…

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My voice

April 24th, 2018 | Category: Life

So, I’m here singing along with Aimee Mann, her record anyways, Mental Illness. Singing in my silent way, though, after all these years I still feel the words in my throat, still half expect to hear my voice when I move my lips just so. I didn’t particularly like my voice, especially my singing-voice, which makes me think of Sara…

Sara used to say she loved my voice, even singing, she actually liked when I sang. She said I always sang on-key. I wouldn’t really sing around most people, but I’d sing with Sara, lying together, morning sunlight dusting her face, listening to Elliott Smith, Tori Amos, Nirvana, Aimee Mann, whatever the whim of whichever playlist. I think, for the first time, the full measure of sadness that is in this record, that is in me, is hitting me. I don’t let the sad that’s in me out of late, but I can hear it in the singing-voice that’s only in my head, feel it collecting itself in my eyes. Aimee sings, I sing, She made her choices, and now that is that… and I miss her. I miss Sara, I miss Sara so goddamn fucking much.

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Tomorrow, I’m old…

December 30th, 2017 | Category: Life

So, tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m going to be… old.

I have more thoughts, but I’ll save them for the day itself.

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