Saturday, 11 May, 2002
: Mmmm, long time without
updating. Almost certainly too long without updating. But I'm back again (thanks
Paige) and it's kind of nice.
It's nice to be home again. I missed the place. Spring is coming slowly, I wouldn't
mind having it be a little warmer right now but I love watching all the colors
return and seeing the wildlife again. Even the persistent spring rain isn't
bothersome. I've interviewed with the local parks service for a summer job doing
basic park maintenance and trailwork, I'm hopeful that I'll get the job. I can
think of little better than working outside in nature. Hard work to be certain,
but it gives back everything that one puts into it. It's nice to have something
more to show for a day's work than a grade on a paper or some arrangement of
magnetic domains on a ZIP disk.
In twenty days a good friend of mine will be home again after spending several
months in California on her first internship. I can hardly wait to see her again,
being out of communication with friends is not something I particularly care
for. I've been busy around here at home too. Fixed my old moped up so I can
sell it with a clean conscience. Adjusted the clutch in my 914
which magically cured what I had feared was about $1,200 of transmission problems;
all-in-all a nice surprise. On the other hand, not everything in my automotive
life is going quite so well. While I managed to repair the rust hole in my workhorse
Honda Accord's floorpan I'm starting to really fear for the old girl for the
If I owned it outright as with my cycle or the 914
I'd be all right, but the Honda is still technically my parents' car, and as
the bodywork continues to deteriorate (as is perfectly normal in a 14 year old
car with 210,000 miles) they are putting more and more pressure on me to replace
the car. I've been able to hold them off so far, but I think that it may only
be a matter of time before they intervene regardless of my wishes. I know, I
can hear the people out there saying, "Oh yeah, so harsh. Your parents
want to buy you a better car and it bothers you." complete with eye-rolling
and all that goes with it. Still, I hate seeing machinery abused, and given
the Honda's age, mileage, and would-be price it would most certainly be absolutely
killed by whomever would buy it. The 914
could sell without worrying because it's an older car that's in demand as a
fun project, but an old Accord is simply an object to be beaten to most people.
I will not live to see that day though.
I don't know why I'm so attached to such a ratty old car, but the old Honda
is very special to me. Maybe it's just the novelty of a sedan with retractable
headlights, or maybe it's what I call "First Car Syndrome", or maybe
it's just the part of me that likes the things I know and doesn't like change.
In any case, the idea of my Honda being mistreated is unsettling to me. If I
can work out a way for the Honda to be set aside for future repair and rebuilding
I may rethink things, but I have no intention of letting go of the old girl.
The Honda's a survivor. It has put in its 50 missions and it has come though
with a few dents, but it's still kicking. The idea of letting it come this far
only to throw it all away simply doesn't sit right with me.
Sunday, 19 May, 2002
: Eight days since I've stopped to write. That's
at least 5 days too long. I can't claim to have been very busy as I did last
time; need to set up a routine for myself here that includes writing.
The Honda's out of immediate danger. (Yay!) The "bargain" car that
had attracted the parents' attention as a potential replacement turned out to
have a myriad of problems. Seems that age and mileage really don't matter much
if one takes care of the machinery. Fortunately for me, I take near obsessive
care of my vehicles so the Honda's in better mechanical shape than most vehicles
a quarter of its age.
"He's a poet. He's a picker. He's a prophet. He's a pusher. He's a pilgrim
and a preacher and a problem when he's stoned. He's a walking contradiction;
partly truth and partly fiction, taking every wrong direction on his lonely
way back home." Kris Kristofferson takes a lot of flack from people these
days but his music strikes a chord with me. I see a simple straightforward honesty
in it that seems to be absent in modern music. As is the case with most of my
favourite singers/songwriters Kristofferson seems to be writing for himself.
I get the feeling that he'd be writing songs and singing them even if he didn't
have a recording contract.
Everything's made to be disposable now. I guess that this shouldn't be something
that appears as odd to one of my generation but it does. I'm noticing this more
and more often, most recently because our 1979 Simplicity garden tractor has
developed a crack in the mowing deck and my father has decided that it's time
to get a new mower. It's amazing how something as simple as a garden tractor
can change though. There's so much plastic on the new models that I can't help
but marvel that the things stay together at all. In place of the 1/4 inch thick
metal that makes up the mowing deck on our '79, the new mowers have 1/8 inch
metal and cheap plastic wheels for the deck instead of the metal rollers on
bearings. Even the frames of the new mowers smack of cheapness, with hollow
extrusions and stampings replacing the heavy cast-steel rails on our '79. There's
no way that one of these new machines could ever match our old Simplicity in
terms of life-expectancy.
It's saddening to look at this disposable culture. I can't help but wonder from
whence it has come. (It's certainly not been handed down from the era in which
"whence" was a common term.) Nothing seems to be built in a particularly
solid manner anymore, and nearly nothing is built to be fixable. Ending has
actually become better than Mending. I could rail against the consumerist nature
of our society, but that's neither my desire nor even my point. I don't give
a damn what people do with their money, if they want to show off, more power
to them. My problem is with the lack of quality. Nothing lasts anymore. The
life expectancy for a new VCR is three years. Cell phones crap out in six months.
It's not just the products though. People don't want to take care of things
anymore. Cars get their oil changed at 7,000 to 8,000 miles or whenever the
owner feels like it. Laptop computers get thrown around and beaten up. CD's
get used as coasters. People have bought into the idea that if something doesn't
work it just needs to be replaced. Not me though. I'll stick with my old-fashioned
preference for fixing things thankyouverymuch. I'd rather have the character
of an old machine that needs a little coaxing to get going than the bland same-ness
of something completely without special instructions. I'm keeping the faith,
along with some of my more mechanically-inclined friends. Sure we get awfully
greasy at times, but it's a good feeling. Roll up your sleeves sometime and
see what I mean. Learn to recognise quality. Keep the old spirit alive.
Wednesday, 22 May, 2002
: She's on my mind again. I don't know quite
why I bother myself with her as much as I do, but I suppose that the reason
is relatively unimportant. I can't help but wonder about her sometimes. Does
she realise what she's doing on at least some level, or does the current run
at too great a depth to cause anything aside from a vague feeling malaise in
her? She's like a bird that has, against all reasonable expectations somehow
managed to clip its own wings and yet not noticed that it can't fly. One of
these days I'm afraid that she'll be unpleasantly surprised when she finds that
she can't bear herself up on her own.
I'm not sure which will be the greater pity: Her having to discover this
herself, or her never discovering it and continuing on in life without a change.
Thursday, 23 May, 2002
: I'm laying here in bed with the ThinkPad on
my lap as I type this. For one reason or another, this seems to be a most conducive
environment for this writing. This is exactly the type of thing that makes me
glad to have a laptop.
That odd wistful feeling is back again. It's the vague feeling that I should
be looking for something, but I'm never quite sure just what that something
is. A strange sort of restlessness it is indeed that makes me restless to find
someone with whom to share my life and in whom to confide completely. Even as
I type that though, I see that it really doesn't matter since I'm always happy
regardless, I have only to get in touch with the right part of me. Still, I'm
going to be putting more than a few miles on the motorcycle this summer (finally).
There is nothing that can beat the cycle for enjoying the drive in and of itself.
The journey is far superior to the destination when I'm on the cycle.
Thursday, 30 May, 2002
: "Though my eyes can see, I still am a
blind man. Though my mind can think, I still am a madman. I hear the voices
when I'm dreaming. I can hear them say, 'Carry on my wayward son. There'll be
peace when you are done. Don't you cry no more.'." (Kansas, Wayward
Another Spring night that is altogether too hot for my liking. It's quite pleasant
when I'm outside wandering around or just sitting and listening to the darkness,
but it's too warm for sleep to come easily. About 81 degrees in my room according
to the little thermometer. (That's in Fahrenheit for all you backward people
still using Centigrade.) Well, if I can't sleep, I might as well think and ramble
for a bit.
I have a job finally. All I had to do was pester the Metroparks a little bit
and bang, I've got a job for the summer. Nothing glamourous or anything, just
trailwork and basic park maintenance but I'm really quite enthusiastic about
the whole deal.
What else... Ah yes. I've thought about Laura a time or two. Been a while since
I've heard from her. I wonder how she's doing this summer down in Pittsburgh.
Hopefully well. I certainly look forward to catching up with her again this
That's about all that has been on my mind lately. Paige and Pavel, thanks for
keeping the pressure on me to keep up (sort of) with my journal here.
This page © 2002 by Zenmervolt.