Category Archives: General

Back on the Move

Photo by: Christopher KoppesCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

So, I’m moving out of another apartment at the end of this month.  This will be my 15th move1 since the spring of 1999.  I’ve written from time-to-time about how good I’ve gotten at it.

I definitely haven’t aspired to this transience, but that’s just the way things have gone.  Even though I’m just getting started with packing, I’m confident that I’ll be able to get things boxed up and ready without a lot of teeth-gnashing.  I’ve got a whole weekend without any other obligations coming up, and a fine storage facility to start stashing my stuff.

It never hurts to get rid of some things when you move, though.  I eliminated a mess of books the last time (predominantly from grabbing public domain digital versions instead), and I might cut out some more on this go-’round.  At various times since I moved into my current place, I also thinned out my wardrobe, sold or stored more DVDs, and dumped some bulky electronics.  I could see CDs going into semi-permanent storage this time, and ditto for all these old toys that are rapidly losing their sentimental value.

Some of those who know me will try to point out that I still have lots of stuff, and don’t want to part with a good portion of it.  My attachment to those sorts of possessions, though, have more to do with lifestyle and income than sentiment, though.  Of course I don’t want to lose or get rid of my computer(s), TV, cameras, and other favorite gadgets; they are how I make myself seen on the Internet, stay in touch with people I know, and enjoy my hobbies.  Any of them could replaced, if they had to be, some at substantial cost.  I have, in recent moves, made a habit of cutting loose from things that might be considered highly sentimental.

There are times that I wonder, then, if making snap decisions about my sentimental attachment to “things” has dulled my overall capacity for sentiment.  “Stuff” that I own doesn’t really affect me that way very often anymore.  My desire to reflect on the past and dwell in warm memories seems to be reduced.  Is this change attributable to my detachment from certain possessions, a by-product of my brainaltering pills, or a simple matter of getting older?

In a way, the technological times that we live in have made preserving memory so much easier.  What are my most valued possessions?  The photos that remind me of the people, things, and places that I’ve experienced hold that distinction.  I’ve got 90-ish percent of those tucked away on a hard drive the size of a deck of cards.  I just need to keep good backups.

  1. 456-A High Ave, 456 High Ave, 6140 S 18th St, 3520 Shangri-la Rd, 4415 Johnstone, 606 Nelson Story, 2716 Woodridge Ln, 2080 Dickinson Ave, 470 N Main St, 661 Division St, 6524 W Wright St, 4121 N Ardmore Ave, 2131 Effingham Way, 5327 Westport Rd []

A Helluva Year

By: funkblast

I know, I haven’t been here in a while.

2013 hasn’t gone exactly as I expected all the way through.  I’ve had to focus a lot of time and effort on my mental and emotional well-being, and reconsidering goals and aspirations for the future.  Part of me is starting to feel like I’m too old to have “future goals.”  I know that’s not the case, but thinking about it too much can bring a person down.  I’ve struggled through some poor habits, poor feelings, and poor decisions this year.  I want to get things back on track, but I often feel like I don’t know where to get started.

I am going to give more grad school another go-round.  This cycle I’m going to put forth more effort on applications than I have in any one year in the past.  Hopefully, that will mean a fruitful result, and help me to feel more like goals and aspirations are worth having.  Some way or another, I’ve got to bust out of this rut and push ahead.

Martian Dreaming

Had a really odd dream last night.

An old friend and I were the first humans to go to Mars, although the mission wasn’t initially planned that way.  The deal was, we’d stay in the lander, and deploy a number of robotic probes from our craft.

Once we got there, it became pretty clear that I hadn’t trained for the mission at all, asking my buddy what I should be doing, where my spacesuit was, and generally just watching him take care of a lot of the heavy mission-critical lifting.  At one point on that first day, a few of those probes malfunctioned; their wheels didn’t deploy, and we couldn’t move them around.  Even though it was night, and I’d have trouble locating the probes, I went outside, found them, and manually popped the wheels down.  Problem hopefully solved.

On our second day at the Red Planet, we realized it was awfully strange that I hadn’t needed my helmet to go out the day before; clearly, there was a lot more oxygen in the Martian atmosphere than was initially reported.  I had even gone out in bare feet, for chrissakes.  I decided I would wear shoes on day two, because you sure don’t want to cut your foot on a Martian rock, and get infected with some alien bacteria you’ve never encountered before, right?

So both of us head out in the morning on Sol 2, now with the bright light of day making the surrounding terrain easy to see.  In the distance, there was a strip mall and a Target store.  That seemed weird for Mars, too.  Looking up in the sky, we saw the Moon, and thought that perhaps we weren’t on Mars after all.  Turns out my friend Ben wasn’t very good at steering our rocket.  Despite his best efforts, we hadn’t even escaped Earth’s atmosphere, and after taking off from Cape Canaveral, we landed our ship in western Wyoming, thinking we’d reached Mars.

It sure was a fast trip.

Reunion

Had a nice visit yesterday after work with an old buddy from E.R. who I haven’t really been in touch with since we graduated from high school.  Both our lives afterwards went on different trajectories, and it just so happens that we have landed, at present, living just a few miles apart again, and more importantly — we landed in very nearby seats at a recent Brewers game.

Chatting with Clint for a couple hours over beers was a good thing.  It sort of made me realize how much we’ve changed (and probably, everyone from those days has changed) since then, going through unique paths of experience, and forming new world views around them as adults.  But, at the end of the day, there are things about us personally that made us friends before, and they still remain.  32-yr-old me is drastically different from 14-yr-old me, but there must be something essential that stays the same in certain ways.  Ditto for my friend.  Looking forward to rekindling an old relationship whose history is strong and important to me.

A New Venture

A colleague of mine at work took a continuing ed photography class here in Madison recently.  We’ve been carpooling the last few weeks, so there has been ample time to chat about it.

One of the things that she mentioned was that the instructor has a store on Etsy where she sells prints of some of her photos.  I took a look at a couple of them and said, “… OK.  People are buying this?”  I guess art is one of those things whose quality is fairly subjective.  What I look at as a very average photo, someone shopping for low-cost prints might think is just outstanding.  It dawned on me that if this person is selling these photos and doing so successfully, I could try my hand at making a few bucks on the side.

So anyway, I’m going to start a shop, but I need to take the time to choose which pictures to list.  Listings are twenty cents apiece, so I figure I’ll spend five bucks or so to get started, and see if any of them sell.  If not, I’m only out five bucks.  I figure if I can sell one or two, that would at least cover the cost of the listings.

Any ideas for which pictures I should try to sell?  Obviously, I’ve got many more than those on this site, but maybe you’ve got some ideas.  Take a look if you want and let me know.

Rethinking the Agenda

Had a nice weekend full of baseball, friends, movies, and much-needed housework.  When all was said and (mostly) done, I had a list of about five things that I wanted to accomplish, computer- or website-wise, that were left undone.  I managed to plow through a couple of them (including my first photo uploads to this site in almost a year – check out the Storyhill pics from last Labor Day), but some were only half-finished.  I had to try pretty hard to not be disappointed with myself, even after a nice June weekend.

DSC_0136
Clearwater Lake, Deerwood, MN

Not having had a summer like this in over a decade, it’s hard for me to let myself roll with the proverbial punches and take advantage of the nice weather and low-obligation without a plan.  I feel like if I don’t have a list, I’m going to miss out on something I should have been doing.  But, I guess if the last ten years should have taught me anything, it’s that there will always be more time to get your list done.

I took a couple positive steps in the last week that I hope will lead to maximum summer enjoyment: I moved the BryGuy show back to the latest possible part of the evening (we’re starting at 9PM beginning this week), and I set all of the ‘to-do’s’ on my RTM list to be due no earlier than 8PM on any given day.  Moreover, instead of insisting to myself that the tasks on that list get completed on the days I set them due, I opted to be satisfied with a little progress, and a revision of the date and specifics of the goal.

Summer’s too short around here.  I need to make sure I’m enjoying it.