Brooklyn Followup

For those anyone that was waiting for the findings from that $115 Brooklyn ticket- see the below measurements.  A reminder: $115 fine for parking within 4 feet of a fire hydrant.

For those that are scared by modern magic like “math”- and 

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confused by complicated jargon like “numbers”, each white strip is 14″ (as measured by the distance from one point in the wheel to the opposing (see inset).  Still with me?  Good.  Even over assuming distance and perspective on the sidewalk rather than the tail of the car (which is further)- there are 5 of these units between my car, and the furthest point of the hydrant.  For those keeping score- that is 70″, or 5.83 feet.  

Fuck yeah, America.  So I go online to contest this farcical abuse of my tax dollars, which I find is not yet loaded into their systems.  

Must be the government shutdown.  

I go on to read; one must enter any disputes within 30 days (not working days.. 30 days) of receiving a ticket.  BUT the ticket won’t load into the system until 7-10 business days (which is potentially 16 earth days, 17 since tomorrow is MLK day).  That’s fair.  

Well- if I wanted to make a difference, I’d have voted, right?  (I don’t live there, btw- my vote doesn’t matter; also, i’m not a corrupt politician, teamster or otherwise crooked Union member, so my vote in New York politics wouldn’t have mattered either.)

The stories we told

Last nephew’s dedication was yesterday. (I say last because for my generation- it’s not longer an option.)

Got the usual “When are you getting married!” questions..

“thanks.. I’ve had my fill of other people”.

The whole event was good for my mother.  My father having passed in December, my sisters and I are trying to convince her- after 43 years of changing her schedule for him, now she can do whatever she wants whenever she wants.  Its a hard learned habit to instill; every opportunity we have to get her together is a step in that direction, I think.  With Dad gone, its pushed Mom and I closer- we speak more, I see her more, its all easier as horrible as that may sound.

But the kinda neat part, my Aunt (Dad’s sister) and I got to talking.  She and I will be spending some time in Nevada.  In our talks we discussed social anxiety, and less than anxiety, just lack of motivation to have to be social.  Its something she and I always had in common.  Our conversation got to my father.  My parents never separated, and he was in my life as long as I remember; but I never really knew him.

I say that, not because we had nothing in common (we didn’t), or that we didn’t share the same interests (we seriously didn’t).  Even in later years as I was a young man and he wasn’t physically scary to me anymore, I just had nothing to say to him, and he had no desire to say it.  There was a lot that I wanted to say- but we were just never the same people, and by the time he died, we were decades in to accepting the fact that we wouldn’t have closure, let alone a relationship.

My aunt started telling me stories about when she was younger,  how horrible my grandfather was (not even sure how we got on the subject).  A horrible man like you read about.  I never had that a bad experience with my grandfather, I was 12 when he died; and really the only memories I have of him were his dogs, a constant smell of alcohol and his bristly 5 O’Clock shadow.  The last memory I have of him was his liver failure-thrashing in delirium and demanding a gun so he could kill himself.  They didn’t bring me back to the hospital for those visits after that.

One story was about her and my grandmother having to hide in the attic because my grandfather was going to shoot them.  I had mentioned that I didn’t feel like I ever really knew my father, and I didn’t have any good memories of my grandfather either- she had a few stories about the things that had made him shut down over time.  Not like that serves as any excuse, but she tracked it back quite a way through my father’s side of just really bad men.  She said she thinks thats why all the women in our family are so strong- they’ve been tempered that way.  My grandfather was an apex-saint.  I’m sure many people put their families matriarch on a pedestal, but this woman was at such another level I couldn’t put it to words.

But our conversation closed with her telling me she never saw any of my father in me, only my mother.  I don’t know if that was to make me feel better, but it did.  It legitimized a lot of what I hoped in general.  I always did like her the best 🙂

Commercial Break

No, not more shameless plug of my Amazon link, or my online store

While poking around on AppleTV- I realized it comes preloaded with Crackle.

UnknownI remember Crackle from way back in 3G times (read about it… in story books!) when they had free streaming movies, before Netflix came to Android.  Well, I have since moved on to iPhone, and had forgotten about Crackle until it showed up on AppleTV.

I love Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and they even had some awesome options Netflix and Hulu didn’t have (Ghostbusters!).

Then, the other shoe proverbially dropped.

I was watching Ultraviolet.  I’m not proud of it, but.. hey, its a fun.. its got some interesting… I’m an adult, I don’t have to make any excuses! Its a silly anime feely shitty film, Ok?!  Literally- every 7 to 10 minutes in this dog shit film, a Discover card commercial would come on.  I get it, we need advertising cause I’m not paying for Crackle.  But… it would be 2 or 3 commercials, then back to the film.  TWO OF THE COMMERCIALS WERE ALWAYS DUPLICATES! Really guys?  there’s not a department that handles that?  Here’s the worst part- ostensibly, Crackle is playing to an audience of people watching TV on smart phones, or computers… know what else my computer does?  Torrents.

Know how long it takes to download a full film?  Less than the time between commercials.

The gatekeepers have left their gates.  The old ways are over, and we are not a nation of construction, or development anymore- we are a nation of consumers, and entertainment, and creativity-How many more years before entertainment finally realizes, the old business model is dead.  Please, embrace a way to be more creative with your approach to monetization.

For instance- I would gladly pay an extra 10-15% for the same produce I receive now without commercials.  OR give me an option of the commercials I see.  Believe me, History Channel, I don’t need to know about Humira, Vagisil, or Viagra.  But I am interested in electronics, entertainment, and travel…

Bottom line, the moment we decided it was Ok to pay for a product that gets the opportunity to advertise was the moment we lost all hope.  We allow too much.  The old ways are done- Arrrr…


2014 Benediction

Happy New Year

“What do I do now?”

The passing of a year does not have the impact it once did.  But all the everything from your last year is over and only able to remind us that it won’t be forever.  The here that you knew will never be where you go back to, and certainly isn’t where you left it.

So, what do you do now?  The same you did then.  Do the best and the worst and the every bit human of what you did yesterday.  If you can change it, you would into the best you could have gotten.  If you could not have changed any of it, then rest in the placidity that you never really had a choice.  Don’t regret any of it: analyze it, live it, use it and lift it from your shoulders.  Carry all of it, not as a burden, but as triumph over another year you’ve brought with you, kicking and screaming as it was born to this moment.

What you do now is what you always did, and do it knowing that trying to stop time is trying to stop an avalanche.  Do.  Now, and relax in the knowing that none of it will be forever.

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