Hanging With Old Folks

I’ve got to quit hanging out with old folks.

I just shut down selectivelysocial.com because the guy had a heart attack last night and isn’t going to need it anymore. -At least not until I start believing in ghosts.

He was feeling fine, he went to bed and he didn’t wake up. –I suppose that’s a better way to go than most, but it sure upset his wife.

I’d only known him for 20 odd years and in spite of the fact that we only talked whenever we ran in to each other, which could be only every couple of months, I’m going to miss him.

It’s funny that only seeing each other few times a year didn’t bother either of us, but his wife, being a lot more social, kept trying to get us to do more things together. Sometimes it worked, but mostly these things involved dealing with people we didn’t know, so most times it didn’t.

I had another dude I’ve known for 10+ years stop by this morning, he’s only about five years older than me, but his hearing is going and I have to remember to remind him what we were talking about just a few minutes ago. He’s not senile, but he’s easily distracted, and he’s starting to have trouble concentrating.

He’s still alert and aware of everything going on around him, but knowing he has a concealed weapons permit is starting to be a little worrisome.

And of course there’s the other worries that come with age.

My stepfather was in his early eighties when he developed Alzheimer’s. In less than a year he went from sharp as a tack to asking where his late wife was. And as I get older I’m not sure which bothers me more; the thought of dealing with someone who has it or the fear that it might happen to me.

All told, the biggest problem for me, is not just that I’m tired of burying friends. It’s watching them deteriorate, mentally and physically before they go.

So, I’ll try to remember the good times and force a smile through the inevitable depression, until it’s my turn.

COVFEFE Act Introduced

Well, like it or not, President Trump has found his place in history. He’ll be forever remembered, not for his policies, but for a late night mis-tweet.

The non-word “COVFEFE” is likely to be written into the law.

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or “COVFEFE” Act. This bill codifies vital guidance from the National Archives by amending the Presidential Records Act to include the term “social media” as a documentary material, ensuring additional preservation of presidential communication and statements while promoting government accountability and transparency.
“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” said Rep. Quigley. “President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented. If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: “The President is the President of the United States, so they’re considered official statements by the President of the United States,”

Yes, we may incorporate @realDonaldTrump’s tweets about the ban into our Supreme Court argument.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) June 5, 2017

First I had automatically assumed that any statements made by the president that are not private are archived. –I guess I was wrong.

But why should the format matter? These are addressed to the general public, so why aren’t they preserved for future reference?

I had a long post outlined, but fact checking and dealing with all the political BS is literally giving me a headache.

So, Fuck ’em all!!!! and goodnight.

Something To Do and Living on a Budget

I’m trying to find something to do when I’m living on Social Security. (Mary, mother of God, that makes me feel old.)

To that end, I’ve picked up an amazing amount shit junk and crap over the years, intending to use it “later.”

I bought this little unimat lathe to make models, and I used it once.
Unimat Lathe in wooden box

I bought this book on stringing pearls just because one of the girls at work restrung some pearls for the boss, and I hate to have someone else knowing how to do something simple when I can’t.
pearl stringing book
Yup, I can now string pearls. And this is useful why? I don’t even like pearls, much less enjoy sitting for hours stringing them. -Patience is never going to be my strongest attribute.

Of course the pearl book led to my buying a bunch of other jewelry shit.
bead and wire art jewelry bookjeweler's hammersjewelry wire looperjewelry thingamajig
It’s all “good shit,” but only if you’re going to use it, and somehow I doubt that I’ll ever become a jeweler.

You get my drift.

I used to buy things with the intention of using them to learn something new and then putting them away “for later.” Now I have to watch my spending.

Which in turn means I have to go on a budget, and at the risk of repeating myself… that sucks!

I’ve always thrown away the ads that come in the mail, but now I’ve started reading them.

For instance, at Smart and Final I could buy an 18 pack of eggs for 99 cents. But I have to buy four items on some list that, as I understand it, only the store manager has.

Who the hell writes ads that people like me can’t figure out. I’m sure if I shopped the ads everyday I’d understand, but I don’t, so I don’t.

Meanwhile, the other stores are starting to be just as oblique in their wording. Why can’t they just say what they mean? It’s starting to feel like I’m buying a used car, not a few eggs.

Albertson’s is returning to coupons. But I just read the ads and don’t pay much attention to this resurrected dinosaur, because the few times I’ve tried to use them they were either expired or I left them on the kitchen counter.

Next they’ll bring back their member cards and we’ll need to remember to bring them both.

But my biggest bitch about ads and specials is that they are aimed at people who have large families and buy in quantity. Which leaves me out. –In spite of outward appearances I’m only eating for one.

I’ll figure out this whole getting old thing, but probably not ’til after I’m dead.

Still whining means I’m still alive.

Rewiring a Recording Studio

I just got a job helping rewire a home recording studio. It’s only three days worth of work, and it doesn’t pay much, but it sure feels good to do something besides sit in front of a computer.

The building passed inspection and they have all the basic soundproofing and studio monitors in place, but the rest of the wiring was done by an electrician who just wanted to get paid and get gone.

It’s not like that’s unusual. This guy’s a low-bid contractor, who’s overbooked and too cheap to pay anyone else to do the job right. –Well, boys and girls, we all know that you get what you pay for. Right?

The “master electrician” has been swearing for weeks that he’ll get back over and “do the job right.”

In the meantime, the contractor’s board has been notified, so now he’s trying to shift the blame to his helper, in spite of him being there the whole time.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, two nice microphones went walkabout, one mixer joined them and a lot of little stuff has disappeared….. Whatever.

Any way you look at it, it’s somebody else’s problem. I’m just drilling holes, running conduit and pulling wires.

We started last night and the dude that owns the house was working right along side me.

It turns out that he doesn’t mind getting dirty, sweaty and tired. It’s a damn good thing because there’s dust and crap everywhere.

While we were catching our breath and drinking a cold one he told me I could borrow the studio any time I wanted.

It’s a shame I can’t carry a tune with a forklift. Not that I want to be a singer anyway, I just want to play with the toys.

I took one of the manuals home so I could read it and look up the words I don’t understand. –This way I don’t sound like an idiot when I talk to the engineer.

Now we’re discussing video taping his wife while she sings and putting it on YouTube. So it looks like I may get paid to learn how to use Adobe Premier.

I got home late and got up early, and I’m tired, but I feel better than I have in a quite a while.

I guess it’s worth the long days and short sleep, just to have something useful to do.

Camera Gear Canon 80D and New Lens

I went crazy with my Nikon gear, then I sold it all to KEH and switched to a mirrorless Panasonic G7X.

Now I’ve gone back to a DSLR, only this time I’ve gone with Canon.

Aside from the learning curve, the real difference is that I only have four lenses.

    50mm f/1.8
    Tamron 150-600mm

The Tamron turns out to be a nice lens for the money.
tamron 150-600mm lens
For a cheap lens it’s surprisingly good. The only real problem I’ve had is that on my 80D it tends to over-expose by about 1-1 1/2 stops at the long end.

This beast is what I used for birds for a while until it got to be too damn heavy.
sigma 300-800mm leaning against bright red dumpster
It’s a Sigma 300-800mm, Sigmonster.
It only weighs about 12lb and is a mere 2 feet long.

I carried that monster everywhere for the first year, not so often the second year and it mostly lived in it’s case from then on.

This cheap Tamron weighs around 4lb, collapsed it’s 10″ long and I can use it on a tripod that weighs less than a small child.

And before any of you say anything, no, the Tamron is not in the same class as the Sigma. But it weighs nothing and cost about $900 whereas the Sigmonster weighs a ton and cost $4k –used.

So I have my long lens, I have a short telephoto and a wide lens and I can carry it all without having to hire a freakin moving van.

The only other thing I think I’ll buy is a Nikon to Canon lens adapter so I can use my Sigma f/1.4 85mm lens. –I don’t mind going all manual, I grew up in a time before auto-focus or autometering.

In fact my favorite camera before digital was a Nikon F2AS. You could drive nails with it and still shoot. Unlike most of these new digital toys that need to be babied.