Saturday, December 06, 2003

Happy birthday, Lil Bro.

No matter how old you get (28 ALREADY???)....

You'll still, and always will be, an 11-year old kid to me.

Heheh. Gawd, he so hates that.. :-)

Good, that means Im still doing my big brotherly duties.

From the year too thousand...

blurry shots from the month o' July

*cough* suuuuure it's blurry, buddy...

It was a .. err.. blurry time.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Dream interpretation

Ive heard about people who are deathly afraid of clowns. I dont get that.

But Ive been having infrequent but recurring dreams about strangely dressed people (often dressed like a combination between street people and transvestites) coming up to me, asking my name, and upon the affirmative, tries to kill me.

After a few instances of this nonsense, the dream Me now goes after them with extreme prejudice.


No, I have not a clue.

In fact, I didnt even realize this has been a recurring thing the last few years until last night.

Youve got me on the significance of this.
In fact, one of the characters in the dream this morning tries to shiv me not once, but twice.

The second time, after a swift fist to the face sends him to the foot of the stairs where he crashes apparently unconscious, another one (imagine a big pimp dude, but in dancers tights.. *sigh* I dont know why either..) enters from a door in the hallway by my apartment.. and when I openly wonder to him why are strange people attacking me, he answers that he doesnt know, then jumps me.

To get out of the bear hug as we grapple on the floor, I roll, smash my elbow to his arm to loosen his grip and pin him as I swing a straight fist to his face.

The boom of my fist against the wall by my bed is what woke me up.


I cant remember (apart from this) my dreams ever being at all violent.

By the way, the dream Me apparently has some decent fighting skills and a sweet right fist.

*raise eyebrow* Hm.

Go Me.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


The cost of a Fuji S2 Pro went from $1350 street price to $1850 in less than 3 months!!

Its a helluva camera. But...

Aint. Nuthin. Changed. Not a GOTTDAMNED thing about it is new and improved.

That difference is about the cost of a good Nikkor zoom lens!

A Nikon D-100 , a very, very similiar camera to the Fuji, is about $1200.

Im gonna haveta re-think this.

Microsoft now wants a piece of every compact flash still camera memory card made, effective immediately.

Why? Because the camera and memory card makers made the mistake of formatting the card in a format that could be easily read by windows.

Even though not all the patents have even been GRANTED to Microsoft yet.

Oddly enough, its not just Microsoft trying to jack and control every revenue source it can find...

This is another example of what happens when lawyers have a hand in any process.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Square Dinkum

Talking to the Mayor of the Berkeley Flats awhile back (here, even the alcojolics and dope fiends can give you good and interesting conversation when theyre not 'tweaking')

"I can tell a person just by looking at them. Im very good."
"Ive noticed that. So, what am I?"
"Hmm... youre a square."
"A SQUARE??? What kinda person is a square?"
"You know, you dont look like you shoot dope or drink. Just a straight up person. A square."

I kinda took offense at that characteristic back then. A square. A nerd. Like I aint worldy, or perceptive, or aware.

*pshaah* As if.

A mere 5 months later, I now truly realize and appreciate that he was paying me a huge compliment by Berkeley standards..

I AM a square.

I am NOT as worldly as Id like to think I am. I am naive beyond belief about certain things.

I dont partake of the mind altering lifestyle.

Not even a toke.

Not even a pill.

And I get a LOT of respect for this.


I asked someone for an advil to reduce the pain in my old achilles tendon injury. He offered Vicodin or codeine for it.

"Nah, thanks. I just need an advil to reduce the inflammation."

I swearto gawd, word of that spread. I had turned down surefire highs. Subsequently, I overhearing comments of "I really respect Joe, he's a straight-up guy..."

I confessed to being a drug virgin.. an almost unheard of concept among 90-something something percent of California residents.

That got me more respect. If a bit of incredulity at first among the streetwise.

"Boss Hawg" - a large WELL-KNOWN Oakland dealer from back in the day was discussing old times, and while cracking wise about his old-time crack use, he actually turned to me and apologetically said..

"Im sorry man, I know you dont really like to talk about drugs..."

I had to assure him that was quite okay, I was open to getting an education.

Sometimes you wanna live the lives of other people.

Sometimes people wanna be a little bit like you.

I learned, sometimes, people really do want to be a square.

Color me honored.
What I learned at 'school' today.

"That shit messed up my Brillo."

At first I thought, that meant "Brillo" meant "head, brain".. that something messed up his head.

That started a lively session at the round table.

"No no. I mean BRILLO. You know what Brillo is right?"
"Yeah, Brillo pads.."
"Ok, in a crack pipe, you put a bit of Brillo to use like a screen or a cigarette filter."
"Ohhh, ok."
"..but it has to be that COPPER Brillo. You cant use the steel wool Brillo. That shit will taste like youre smokin' Reynolds Wrap."

I swear, talking to people about their past drug use can be HILARIOUS, even as you realize that its no joke, and they usulaly regard it as tragic.

"Sometimes folk will go into their mother's drainpipe and garbage looking for old Brillo to make pipes with.."
"Yeah, even if its covered with old food and shit and grease..."
"And that grease shit will catch AFIRE too.."

Or as they explain the first hand effects of it

"It so unbalances your chemical makeup that you will actually feel fine, strong as a horse the next day. But you might not get thirsty, so you get dehydrated, or hungry often, so you'll get malnourished, lose calcium, make you lose your entire grill."

"And you might go around for MONTHS not craving it like hairwahn, but then ANYTHING might be a trigger... the smell of matches as it catches fire, deodarant you might have been wearing the first time you tried it, the feel of a couple dollars in your pocket..."

"And then youre gone man. You disappear to a motel with somebody for days."

I could go on.


I think I have a lot more to learn.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

On thanksgiving day, a man came up to me and said:

"I hate to see you without your camera. If we can come to an agreement business-wise, Im going help you get back up and running."

Without telling him that I reached for the shaker and put a few grains of salt upon his offer, I smiled, thanked him and told him we'd discuss it next time we met.

The offer alone made my day.
Just now, at the Berkeley Public Library

"Sunset lovers, if you go to the west windows, you will see a pretty spectacular sunset. Enjoy."

Also made my day.

Morbid fascination

"Its the age of appreciation"
I say to those about to cross over the dreaded 3-oh. "You start relearning all those lessons you'd learned when you were younger, but special."

I just never explain why that is. Prolly because its something that Im squeamish about.

Crossing 30 is when you start realizing time is running out.

So starts the morbid fascination with obituaries.

Especially reading of the people dying of natural causes in their mid-30's.

Your feeling of immortality is wounded to say the least.

And there begins your journey down De-Nile.

Today, Im aching and groaning and sweating, not near death, but having visions of it... and in my mailbox comes a gently nagging missive from Lillie.
PLEASE make an appt with the doc like I asked you and check out your blood pressure, OK? I don't want you leaving life like my father.

You tell me what date you set that appt.

Lil is as stubborn as I am, so I cant act as if I didnt hear her.

Plus, I dont think she wants to see me in the obituary column either.

Bee Pollen, eh?

Monday, December 01, 2003

Its interesting, Ive found.

The effects
of food poisoning often mimic those of the flu.

The chills, fever and body ache started yesterday afternoon.

Not long after a friend treated me to a long promised dinner.

I got my usual at this place - grilled chicken, fried rice and egg foo young.


The pain kicked in a few hours later.

The delusions and visions started a few hours later.

I was so out of it today that it was only at 3pm did I remember I was supposed to meet Mira for lunch. At noon. Gah.

Unfortunately, it aint conclusive that it is food poisoning, especially now in Flu Season, but I'll take bets.

Mm. Yeah.

Thats all I can think of.

Going back to bed now.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Jo Jo Jo

"And what's *your* name?"


Sometimes I do the 007 routine. "Pennant. Joe Pennant."

Meh. Ive even had it where Im on a second date and I get "Uhm, I hate to admit it, but your name again is.."

Its not because theyve necesarily forgotten, but they dont want to eff up and say instead "James John Jehosophat."

Sometimes it happens anyhoo.

Sometimes, if I care, I'll correct 'em.

There are times when I REALLY wish the given name is a bit more ear-catching.

Ive learned to tune out "Hey Joe" in a crowded room, unless the person is right by me, talking to me.
If its repeated, I will take a slow, casual turn to verify that its me.

Cuz I hate responding to someone who aint talkin to me.

But Im easily fooled on an open street, as paradoxically, you dont expect to hear "JOE!" as youre walking along.

Ive never been tempted to go by another name. Or to go by my initials, even though Im legally entitled to use the ever-cool moniker "J.D".

Seems pretentious, somehow.

Im also many times fooled by the familar "JoJo!", even tho only a few folk use that one.

Thankfully, (with the exceptions of one or two or close family) no one calls me "Joey" in public.

This might be a blessing. :-)

Oh, and as a public service...

Ive heard the joke "Hey Joe. Where you goin' with that gun in yer hand?"


Many, many times.
However, I have to say ..

Its not always what you call me, its how.

Or who.

Its the difference between making me growl or glow.