Saturday, August 28, 2004

Beach Bum

I learned
new words today.

Gnarly. As in the surf is kinda gnarly, coming in from all angles.
Tubes. As in those tubes are really hollow today, you can surf right through them.
Rips. As in rip-currents.
Fun boards. Some kinda surf-board.
Sets. Series, ridges of waves, as in 'past the second set of breakers is where you want to be to catch the tubes.'

I learned this and more hanging with Josh, whom I met on the #48 bus. Gets your attention when a guy has a 6 foot pointy surf-board on the bus.

We hung out at Ocean Beach, surfer talk suddenly becoming surprisingly *relevant*.

He gave me info on Hawai'i, I gave him info on getting a laptop, so that he can check surfing conditions.

For such a warm and calm day, the surf was surprisingly ROUGH, the surfers having a hard time geting past the surf and breakers.

Apparently the swells were coming in from.... Japan.

Yup, these swells were the remnants of a tropical depression that had hit Japan a week ago, taking all that time to travel across the ocean.

The result was 10-15 foot breakers and surf that was pounding so that you couldnt hear any other sound more than 5 feet away while on the beach.

I havent paddled in sea water since Florida, so it was kinda nice to put my tootsies in the surf.

According to Josh, the water was relatively balmy at... 57 degrees.

Once you got used to it, not so bad, but the surfers had wetsuits on.

Cold. And the breakers were washing surf all the way to my knees, my pants are still soaked.
Pounding surf.

Surf POUNDING, man.

Surf 8 feet high. Punding with a profundo that you could feel up in your chest.

Thats what I felt just now at SF's favorite beach, Baker Beach, in sight of the Golden Gate bridge at the presidio headlands.

I was humming the Hawaii Five-Oh theme as the surf exploded in the sun. :-)

There is a nude beach there.

There were nude people there. Lotta topless warming on the sand.

I had a blast just standing in knee dep surf watching the scenery.

Then the fog started rolling in.

And an old guy, 6 foot five and nekkid except for a straw hat walked past me into the surf.

That was my signal to go.

I walked up to the road with the forlorn toots of fog horns from the mutitude of boats large and small frantically trying not hit each other in the sudden fog blanket that obscured the theretofore clear bridge and land.

The surf still pounding in my ears.

Even now, at the Apple store.

My skin tastes of salt.

And I feel good.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Light moments

Left the
laptop and bag behind today.

Blue sky, the only fog being a haze over the Bay ... and a heatwave.

*snort* Heatwave. 80 frikkin degrees.

And it'll last as long as the weekend, when the fog comes back and the chill comes back home.

In any case, I wandered Portola Drive and Noe Valley. Beeyootiful.

Native Friscans get kinda kranky at the unaccustomed warmth. They like the natural and omnipresent air-conditioning.

Truth be told, Im kinda getting used to it.
93 MILLION dollahs.

Thats what the California Lottery is at now.

Considering the odds (officially one in 41 million, much more than the amount of tickets sold) - Im actually kinda lucky at the California Lottery. I always get ONE number. Sometimes two.

Heh. Which means I never win a durned cent.

But "You've gotta be in it, to win it." as the NY Lottery slogan goes.

So, whenever the payout rises above 20 mil, I'll take a piece of precious donut money and throw it in the pot.

That means Ive played 6 dollars these past 3 weeks.

Thats a lot of donuts, dammit.

C'mon baby, daddy needs some new camera gear.
Ok. Its nice and warm. Think I'll go wander by the beach today.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

"When I turned *something, something*, it was a verry good year.."

When I
turned 29, i freaked the fuck out frankly.



Looking back, turning 30 was cool, I did all that I set out to do.

When I turned 39, I was in denial, frankly.

I kinda blithely eased on through it. Mainly cuz I was already on a 15 year plan, so eh.

What will be, will be.

Now, 40 is almost here.

My parents will soon be in their 70's.

My favorite cars and songs are all over 20 years or thereabout.

Theyve got dudes YOUNGER than me going into their respective Hall of Fames.

I'm even looking at some 30 year olds as wet-behind-the-ears whippersnappers.


Most importantly...




So, yeah.

Im sorta kinda freakin out.

But, to tell you the truth - except for the growing aches and pains...

I wouldnt want to be 29 or 30 again.

36. Now, thats something else.

Heh, age is just a number, right? :)

Panhandler Bong

Fred said what Ive been seeing over the last year:

The phrase "Hey buddy.. Got a quarter?" has been supplanted by "Hey buddy, can I borrow your cell phone?"

She is NOT kidding, specially in the East Bay, where this phenomena of cell-phone panhandling is endemic.

Blame MetroPCS, whose one-price phone service has made having a cell-phone use affordable for all in the Bay area, with unlimited local and domestic long distance.

Even many homeless folks are sporting more and more phones.

Unfortunately then, the asumption is - cadging the use of your cell phone isnt gonna actually COST you anything, as you have an unlimited calling plan, so its not a big deal if I borrow it to make a call??

So many people now have metroPCS phones now, that people will just come up on the random, with the assumption that you DO have a phone.

This, of course, is a nasty shock to those cell phone owners still paying out the nose for minutes (no matter how it's packaged).

So, tourists - its come to this:

"Can you spare a phone call, please? Bless you."
One of the blessed advantage to being broke, is that you can say "Dont have it." and not have to lie.

In Berkeley, it was bad enough.

San Francisco is just off da hook.

This city is ABOUT money, judging buy how many times you'll get asked for a contribution walking through a busy area.

Another advantage of being broke is to know why youre being asked for money.

If youre in the bay, and youre being asked for a quarter, this person is 'niccing' or having a nicotine craving, and a quarter is the going price for a single cigarette.

If youre being asked for'anything you can spare', thats weed, alcohol and snack money.

Snack? Yeah, when you have the munchies, 2 bux will do you well at the corner store.

Any other request, and that person is hustling. Get away, dont engage in conversation, move. The need for a fix has arrived.

Money for food? Legitimate, but unlikely. Dude, if you go hungry in San Francisco, particularly in the downtown area, they need to lock you up for your own good.
There are no shortages of food programs around.

now, I thought I had become used to people bugging you for money in the East Bay (and where if you dont give, they're often cool about it, offering a 'have a good day then' in return.)

But San Francisco? Again, off the hook. The frequency of requests is like none Ive ever seen. Not New York, nor elsewhere.

Its the town of the hustle, usually to feed their addictions.

Kinda wears you out, even for the most well-meaning.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

After the years have passed, and your friends are still around.. them you keep.

k a t e: Hi:-)
JPennant: hola m'dear
k a t e: whats shakin
JPennant: (((hug)))
k a t e: :-)
JPennant: VIRGO

The prevalent feeling this afternoon is one of fondness - it's not dramatic, but you're as comfortable around a special person as you are in an old pair of jeans. This emotion is seriously underrated. In these days of so much turmoil in the world, having people you feel comfortable around brings much needed stability to your life. Make sure to show appreciation.

k a t e: :-D
JPennant: hehe
JPennant: hows tha weather?
McClint: warm & sunny
JPennant: right on
JPennant: same here (sorta)
McClint: hahaha
JPennant: theres fog on the bay and the ocean, and theres a chill sea breeze, but nice and sunny otherwise
JPennant: beautiful


k a t e: so whats shakin with you man?
JPennant: right now, just learning this town
k a t e: :-)
k a t e: have you met alot of people?
JPennant: oh yeah. sF people are a trip, but generally friendly once you get past their armor.
JPennant: theyre forcing me to learn how to have fun.
JPennant: dangit :-)
k a t e: hehe


JPennant: oh yeah.. mind if I use you as a reference?
McClint: sure go ahead
JPennant: danke
McClint: unless it's for porn star. I can't speak from first hand experience on that one
JPennant: eh, go with my rep
McClint: hehe
JPennant: :-)


JPennant: oh, about meeting people.. check this one out...
k a t e: k
JPennant: guy sees me working with my cracked laptop screen
JPennant: sez he has an old laptop might be able to replace the screen with
JPennant: turns out there is nothing wrong with his old laptops... he just ran out of space on them and kept buying new ones
JPennant: this guy turns out to be a major leather-pride kinda guy
JPennant: and owns these web-sites
Looking to Hookup with Some Hot Men?

Intrested In Masters/slaves?

Looking for a Houseboy/Houseman?

Looking for XXX Adult Employment?

Looking for a Muscle Masseurs?

JPennant: Im like.... hokayyyy
k a t e: hehe
JPennant: san francisco for you.
JPennant: Still, even after these years of not being a tech, im still looking for work in terms of that
JPennant: its proven hard to think of alternatives because of the money
McClint: yup
McClint: you really need to hop on a plane to jax so you can help me out this weekend
McClint: :-)
JPennant: LoL
JPennant: and have to pass thru Atlanta? NoThankYou :-)
McClint: hahaha
McClint: hmmm maybe if you did a roundabout.... SFO-LAX-DFW-ORL-JAX?
McClint: hehehehe
JPennant: the seven levels of hell? nuh-uh
JPennant: Dallas is almost as bad as Atlanta
JPennant: no, nothing is as bad as atlanta
McClint: :-)
McClint: actually...
McClint: chicago during a summertime thunderstorm
McClint: maybe?
JPennant: nah
McClint: but that is more of actually arriving and departing
JPennant: chicago is busy and cramped, sure
McClint: i read something recently that the FAA is making OHare cut back on the number of flights to ease the congestion
JPennant: Always been busy
McClint: or more accurately... forcing the airlines to cut back on ohare flights
JPennant: Just for fun, I used to look in the chicago sky and count how many planes were circling to land
McClint: hehehe
JPennant: and the worst part of atlanta airport
JPennant: the Coca-cola there SUCKS!
JPennant: I dont know how that could be, being the HQ of Coca-Cola corp, but there you are.
McClint: the irony

McClint: it has been a while since i've been thru atlanta so I dont really remember
McClint: i've purposely taken flights that avoid atlanta
JPennant: yup
JPennant: Charlotte is also a waste of time, but thats all it usually is
McClint: oh gawd yes
McClint: i went thru there once to avoid atlanta... UGH
McClint: it was no different
JPennant: I actually dont mind hanging out in airports for connecting flights, but Atlanta *shudder*
McClint: yup

JPennant: aright hon, Im gonna jet :-)
JPennant: you take care
k a t e: bye:-)
JPennant: remember, you my buddy
JPennant: you earned it :-)
k a t e: heheh. :-D

McClint: i gotta run down the hall and do some hands-on testing on a co-ed
McClint: errr did I say that? i meant computer
JPennant: heehee
McClint: ;-)
McClint: bbl

Yeah, the ones that hang around after thick and very thin?

Those you keep around.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Pop quiz

- When was the last time I paid for internet access by having an ISP?

Mmm.. I would say, the year 2000. Road Runner cable in Manhattan. Yup.

Counting internet access and cable service, that puppy cost me $110 a month.


Since then, with the help of several free dial-up accounts (helps to have friends in the industry), wireless, libraries and laptops, Ive paid nil. (Internet cafes dont count.)


One friend whose place I couch surfed at came in one day and saw me online on my machine, not using his internet access, actually started looking for hidden wires and a wireless router. Heh.
At his place, I had about 15 open wireless points to choose from.

Im not celebrating, just more than slightly amazed at that.

So, its slightly ironic, that if I want free access in San Francisco, it involves a bit of a hunt, and underground knowledge.

Wouldja believe the majority of the coffee shops in this city are NOT wired?

(Plug in one of Marn's patented and apt phrases here..)
  • My thoughts, exactly.
  • You can well imagine my horror.
  • Ignore the loud, inconsolable sobbing.
  • Stunned. I am stunned. Well, more stunned than usual, anyhow.
  • My thoughts, exactly.
  • I so wish I was joking about this, but I am not.
  • It is so very, very hard not to be bitter.
  • I know. I'm as appalled by this as you are.
  • Drat.
  • You can well imagine my consternation.

    My thoughts, exactly.

    Well, Im in no mood to wander this fair and foggy city up hill and dale and back up hill again looking for access points.

    So, its a good thing I tripped upon

    Bay Area Free Wi-Fi Wireless Hotspots

    Finally, a good UP-TO-DATE-LIST. And comprehensive. (I was the one that added the San Francisco Public Library to it.. *puff*)

    Now, I need to figure out how to print out the list.

    This is a good thing.

    Cuz, until the phone companies bring down the cost of hi-speed wireless, I dont

  • San Francisco likes to be quirky.. and sometimes just a streetcar ride will demonstrate this.

    Like just this morning:

    f-line conductor: ".... embarcadero and Greenwich.. pier 29.. Fog City Dumpster, err.. Diner.."

    Sign on a MUNI bus: A Express - Sorry No Passengers

    On a passing streetcar: F-line - No particular destination

    How different can you be as someone who wants to stand out from the crowd by dressing gothy/punk-y/indie et al when in this city there is a jillion people doing their own thing dressing.. differently.

    One guy, ive seen around wears a crown, an expensive lizardskin jacket, and sweatpants. Always the crown, day or night, rain or shine.

    Guys wearing skirts are a dime a dozen.

    Seen some fantastic kilts.

    Rastafarian dreads with gigantic nose-rings. Check.

    Grandpa biker dude with full-length leg chaps singing showtimes. Naturally.

    So, goth spiked jacket with patches showing dead jackalopes... no big whoop.

    Or, just now - a perfectly ambulatory guy, wheeling around a folded wheelchair in the library.

    Must be a perfectly good reason.
    At the library some time ago, a nice young lady offered to give me her old laptop, in exchange for retrieving something off it.

    Awful nice of her to offer. I was a bit surprised that someone would do that.

    In relating this to a friend, he said, "Ahh, thats the sort of thing that happens in San Francisco all the time."

    That explains what just happened.

    A library patron saw my cracked screen, took pity on me, and said to call him for he might have an old laptop with a screen I can use to replace this one.

    I think both had second thoughts after they offered, but Im quite blown away that they even did.


    Its San Francisco, man.

    I try to keep most of my private thoughts private, but this writing to the world dealie is better than Arts and Crafts at the local psychiatric ward.

    "Oh, I thought you were born in ohio."
    "Yes, but Ive lived in LA most of my life."
    "Well, Im planning to go down there to do some photos."
    "WHY do you want to go to LA?? Dont go to LA. The people there are ASS-holes."
    "Wow, youre the tenth person to tell me this, and interestingly, exactly the same way, almost exactly the same words."
    "san Francisco is kinda like LA, but up here the people are far friendlier. You dont wanna go there."

    Ive experienced some of that long-distance, actually, although, to be fair, the behavior wasnt restricted to just folk from SoCal. Still tho - when one person gives you advice, listen but dont take it to heart. When 10 people say it, mix those grains of salt und stir.

    JPennant: hey i wanted to tell you, Im gonna write a short piece on LA and LA people soon. Its gonna be negative.
    JPennant: You should not take it personally.
    MisterB: hehe... the thing usually bothers me most is the "LA people" classification because they don't exist as a whole
    JPennant: well, the genesis for this are folk who grew up in LA and moved to SF.
    JPennant: its funny how they ALL say the same thing ie: "Why do you want to go to LA? The people there are ASSholes!"
    JPennant: (the emphasis is theirs)
    JPennant: If it was one or two people saying that, I wouldnt pay attention or even write about it.
    JPennant: But when 10 people say exactly the same thing in EXACTLY the same way, it gives you pause.
    JPennant: but, as I said - you shouldnt take it personally.
    MisterB: hmm, I tend to think that ppl like that probably got kicked out of LA for obvious reasons :-)
    JPennant: LoL
    MisterB: I don't take anything personal as long as its not direct at me
    JPennant: nah, youre one of the good guys :-)
    MisterB: but I do like to take a stand when generalizations are made based on minimal info
    JPennant: heh, as you should

    I still wanna go.
    Moody-ass crankypants.

    Been thinking a lot about how I am, and how I tend to deal with people lately.

    Ive come to the conclusion, wait for it, that I was wrong. A lot.

    No, Im far from violent and I dont yell at people. Pretty calm for the most part. So it's not an anger management kinda thing.

    Its more of a withdrawl, keep the emotions locked down kinda thing.

    Ive always known Im an intense and emotional person, regardless of my outwardly laid-back demeanor.

    But I wasnt about to agree with Kate's assessment years ago that I was moody and cranky.

    Okay. Maybe moody. Sometimes. Cranky too, but thats a no-coffee thing.

    Heh. Irascible too. And nothing wrong with that.

    Now, tho - especially after my performance this year with my relationships - that Kate, who is usually tactful to a fault, might have been right on in her assessment.

    Ive always known that Im an emotional person, no matter what it looks on the outside, but since I havent cried in years, I didnt think it was all that big a problem.

    Now, Im thinking that it is, especially when it impacts other people.

    I dont want to be like that.
    A friend the other day said im not a 9-5 kinda guy.

    My sister, who I havent seen since 1990, said the same thing.

    so, why am I looking for a 9-5 job?

    The day in day out "wait, i gotta go through this *AGAIN*" off wage work saps my will to live.

    I find myself doing this craigslist dance...

    "Mmm, this looks interesting, mmm this looks right up my alley, I'll send this to myself and send out a resume."

    And I never do. Cuz I dont want to.

    I havent even procured job-hunting clothes.

    Even I am wondering "What is the *fuck* wrong with you???"

    Last night someone looked at me last night and said "Youre a man of many talents. Youre gonna be rich, I have no doubt."

    Not if I keep doing what im doing.

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    Lightness is life.

    In my
    current itinerant mode, I will read a book, then discard it, leaving it around for someone to pick up.

    Once Ive read it, what do I need it for? Books are heavy.

    The two exceptions are, the Sextrology book mira gave me, providing insights upon repeated readings, and The Photoshop Book for Digital Photgraphers, which is useful beyond belief. so, they stay, even tho they weigh a gazillion pounds.

    Everything else tho, is on an as-needed basis.

    Easy to say, hard to practice.

    I had to pack my immediate stuff, books included, this morn. I stuffed them into two garbage bags.
    Now, everything would actually fit into one bag, no problem.. but it was the *weight* that had me dividing them into two.

    This consequently had me muttering this morn: "I have too much *@#^#@ STUFF!!&#^%"

    Two years ago, I wouldve been pleased as punch to have only two bags worth of stuff, much of it replaceable.

    Now, Im beyond irritated.
    The book Im currently reading is a book I found called 'Napoleon's Family', a treatise on the Bonaparte family and how they pushed class-climbing nepotism, profligate spending and fre-wheeling sexual escapades into an art form. Stuff I only dimly knew.

    Great stuff.

    I got to read it because here in the Bay, books get recycled. People will leave out tomes on the sidewalk, buses, meeting halls etc, so someone else can read.

    Kinda cool, that.

    Naturally, I and this book will part ways as soon as I finish, to be left somewhere I know it will be picked up and appreciated.

    I kinda like this altruistic ad hoc system.

    This morn, I came across another book. On one the 'Hell's Angels'. It'll prolly enlighten me.

    But what tickled me was the stamp on the book. It had once, or prolly had been, the property of San Quentin prison.

    I. cannot. make. this. stuff. up.

    Im tempted to keep it as a collector's item of irony. Maybe sell it on eBay.

    Realistically, tho - this is something I dont need once Im done with it.

    And for that it must go.

    Sunday, August 22, 2004

    Said the weatherwoman:

    "So, a cool front coming down from the Gulf of Alaska will push out the cold region that has been over our shoreline, pushing the region to our south, pushing away the fog, cooling the inland areas and warming the coast."


    "Did you get that?"
    "I think she said the cold front will push away the cold front and will warm us up."
    "I thought I heard something like that."

    So, I took a risk this morn and went with one fleece layer instead of two. Cuz, all I heard was "Its gonna warm up."

    Turns out the weatherwoman was right.

    The overcast clouds were present all morning then burned off, no fog around.

    the view was so clear, i could see all the way across the bay and catch a glimpse of Mt. Diablo behind the Oakland hills about 50 miles away.

    And everything in-between.


    Im at the downtown Apple Store writing this, after alighting at Union Square from the #76, doing my sunday meander to the Marin Headlands.

    This time, I could see all of San Francisco, the green and building covered hill, dales and valleys looking squat in the water from the heights of the headlands.

    No fog covered the tops of the red Golden Gate bridge today, reinforcing what someone said to me...

    "The building of the Golden Gate bridge is one of the few times that man has improved natures view."

    I'd have to agree with that.

    Anyway, its beautiful outside.

    Time to blow this joint and enjoy the sunshine before sunset chills the place again.