Wednesday, January 25, 2017

High tech Medicine

So when you get a tattoo, the question of how to treat it afterwards is the big one.

Do you keep it wet with lotion or salves or sprays?

Do you let it dry?

Ryan uses a new trick: Tegaderm by 3M

This stuff is amazing.  Since a tattoo is like a cross between a burn and an abrasion, it works great to cover the tattoo.

So since Saturday, my upper arm has been covered in this thin plastic sheet.  We wrapped the bottom of the plastic in gauze for a day because it was oozing out of a pucker, but it was dry and sealed by Monday morning.

And now the tattoo is blurry because of the ooze inside the dressing, but once the 7 days are up on the Tegaderm, it will be significantly healed.  Plus I haven't stained any sheets or shirts.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Half-Sleeve Phase 2

So I read that as a protest against Trump, you should support a local theater or artist.

It just happened that last week, I got in contact with my tattoo artist on Alameda, and made an appointment for Saturday 1/21.

So, Saturday I visited Tiger's Blood Social Club again.

And I sat for a personal record of five and a half hours under the gun.  I was there for six and half, but the gun wasn't running that whole time.

The shop has updated their webpage since Ryan started (it's been over a year since I started the work on my arm), and he is now represented.

Ryan has a great demeanor and is just a great guy.

The whole crowd there is completely different from my previous experiences.  It's a bunch of guys who are around my age doing work they love with people they love.

But here is what I came away with on Saturday.


As it stands now, I have two tattoos, after my next session, it will be only one as we connect the arm sleeve and backpiece together.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Harry Mason

So, I went looking at the site I had linked to for Harry Mason, and I was shocked to learn that he passed away almost a year ago.  Less than two months before my mom died.

I didn't know him, I'll just say that he always remembered my mom when we would go into the shop.  He was ever the salesman getting her to try on the latest version of his earrings.

I'm sorry for his family and friends' loss.

Not Quite Old

So did you know that Pier 39 is 39 years old this year?

It's weird, but I can actually say I was there at the beginning.

We would have only been in California (the first time) for about a year and a half.

I remember how cool it was compared to Fisherman's Wharf.

I also remember the introduction of mylar balloons.

They were a new thing back in 1978, and people were being forced to learn the Ideal Gas Law.  Being 9 years old that was new to me, but it was a cool thing to learn.

You see the mylar balloons were so new that they didn't have anything printed on them.  They were just silver mylar inflated discs.  But the balloons were amazing novelties, and they were selling big time during the day.

Then the fog come in as it does and it got colder in San Francisco as it does.  And the helium in the balloons bean to contract and the taught mylar became loose.  People started tog et upset that their balloons had leaks.  I would guess that with regular balloons the shrinkage wasn't noticed as much because the balloon would stay relatively taught.  But mylar doesn't stretch, so they were saggy.

The salespeople were friendly enough, and I want to say that we got a replacement, but were told what was happening.  Then I remember inadvertently proving it right when we entered a store with lots of lights (All incandescent of course.  No LED light bulbs in 1978), and it was noticeably warmer inside.  And the balloon became "full" again.

That balloon lasted a long time... for a balloon.

Pier 39 became a regular place to go with visiting family and friends, and just to go with mom and dad.

I bought a scrimshaw pendant there.

We bought our first Yanni album there.  And at the same shop I bought a crystal heart pendant for my high school girlfriend.

I bought a big fluffy jacket that was my winter coat for years, and then my winter work coat for years more.

Mom became enamoured with Harry Mason jewelry, and it was a Christmas Eve tradition for a while for Dad to buy her earrings there (or at San Francisco Center when he had a store there).

I bought silly hats there.

I bought cartoon themed ties and clothes there.

It has changed a lot over the soon to be 39 years, but it's still a fun place to visit.


That's the Way You Do It

A new BBC announcement: Good Omens television series!

We'll be able to compare apocalypses between Terry and Neil's vision against the real thing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rogue Ponderance

So, I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I've been listening to Kevin Smith's (and Scott Mosier's) "Smodcast" since the beginning.  I also listen to "Fatman on Batman", "The Nerdist", "The Thrilling Adventure Hour", and "Still Untitiled: The Adam Savage Project".  Plus I've got several queued up for when I get caught up on "The Nerdist".

I'm only about 4 years behind on that one, but caught up on all of the rest.

Being mostly based on the nerd/geek community, most of these have been talking about Rogue One, and what come across universally is how good K-2SO voiced and motion-captured by Alan Tudyk is.  Something I'd seen that just makes me cackle is the following video with Tudyk relating how Anthony Daniels reacted to his portrayal:



But back in one of the podcasts, someone brought up a comparison C-3PO as a nervous wreck who spouts things in fits of cowardice while K-2SO says things because he has no filters.

And then I had a geek-piphany.

  • K-2SO says things because he has no filters.
  • K-2SO's loss of filters is because he was reprogrammed from being an Imperial droid to being given free will (of a sort).
  • Some of the things the K-2SO spouts freely are the odds of an event's failure.
  • C-3PO regularly spouts off the odds of an event's failure, in the original trilogy.
  • C-3PO was reprogrammed after the end of Revenge of the Sith to blank his memory.

Now, sure, this is all easy to explain afterwards, but did the writers of Rogue One see that pattern, and write that in?

Some may scoff that anyone would be that detailed.  First off, to those people, have met Star Wars geeks?  Second, check out this bit from the Rogue One soundtrack by Michael Giacchino that fits so well against John Williams' "Imperial March".

And then think back to how cool it was to learn about Hans Zimmer using the Edith Piaf bit in all of the levels in Inception.

Yeah, you can never go deep enough.

A Tribute to Sir Terry

I got an email today from Terry Pratchett's webpage.  It turns out that the BBC (specifically BBC 2) is going to be airing a documentary on his life and career later this year.

Hopefully, it will come onto BBC America.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Temporal Perspective

So today was only a partial day for work as we got rained out in the morning and the site was too wet to work.

I went back to the hotel, did some swimming in the pool and soaking in the hot tub.  Then I needed to vacate my room while they cleaned it.

Then I ended up in the lobby and Del Shannon's "Runaway" came on the Muzak system.  Out of curiosity, I Shazamed it, and found out it was released in 1961.

That's approximately 55 years ago.

Recently. I've been thinking about the way we look back on music.  And thought, that that would be like being in 1975 and listening to music from 1920.

Now, I'm not saying that's out of the question, but think about it.

My parents liked to listen to music from the 50s.  Sitting in 1975 that roughly 20 years prior.  That's us listening to mid-90s music now.

In high school, I liked lots of different music, but a favorite was a digitally remastered collection of Glen Miller music.  That's about 45 years prior to 1986.  Right now that would put us in music from 1970.

So, yeah, now we get into a rabbit hole that I think I'll just leave right here.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

An Exchange

Her husband and son are big cyclists.So, I get back to the hotel from work this afternoon.  I'm wet.  It had decided at about 1:30 to do the 30 second deluge again a few times every hour.  I had ridden in this morning knowing this was a possibility but again, that's what rain gear and my fender are for.

I come in the hotel lobby, and the woman there says, "Got caught in the rain?"

I smiled and said, "I rode back in the rain.  If I'd been caught in the rain, I wouldn't have had my rain gear."

She nodded and smiled back.  Her husband and son are big cyclists.  It's cool to have someone who knows cyclists so well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Leaky Thoughts

Today I had to stand in the rain for most of the day as I observed some digging and collected confirmation samples.

And it was while I was out in the rain... rain that was intermittent, where we would get 30 seconds to a minute of heavy rain and then nothing to a light mist for an hour... that I learned that my rain jacket was not rain proof.

I first noticed that my armpits seemed colder than they should.  Then I noticed a similar feeling at my elbows.  When I was able to take a break and get inside, I found I was wet from the shoulders down.

Fortunately, I had a spare work shirt and a second rain jacket (Columbia, so I know it's good), and finished the day in two jackets.

Now, I have to go shopping again...

Monday, January 09, 2017

Grand Cycle

So, I guess there are things that happen and you just see them again and again.

People will make mistakes and do whatever they can to cover those mistakes up.  Sometimes it's new people, and sometimes it's the same person who made a mistake a couple years ago.

Stories change slowly over the day, and gradually those stories sound nothing like the stories of the morning.

---

On a related note, apparently I am the calmest and nicest guy around.  Coworkers and subcontractors gauge when things are going bad by when something has managed to damage my calm.

I had a stressful time a couple months back, and a new friend helped me find a way to manage the stress.  He said my calm versus stress level is usually no more than a 2 or 3.  But that day he saw I was up to 11 or 12.  Out of 10.

Then last week I had a bit of an issue.  When I told Jennifer later, about how I had slipped into "my very professional voice," she said, "You mean your dad's office voice?"  I had to acknowledge that.  It's the voice that he used when he was at work, and that I only heard when I got the privilege of calling him at the office, or when I was in trouble.

I have apparently taken that voice as my own for discipline.

I was speaking to a sub, and trying to get across the chain of events their actions had set in motion.  And I was using that voice.  A different sub walked by and later said that I seemed pretty upset.  When asked how upset, he said, "Like about 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 out of ten."

I like to be the guy who everyone gets along with.  [I've always said that I want my tombstone to say "He Made People Smile".  Of course, now I don't want a tombstone, so put a hologram projector in the tree that gets planted for my body to feed.]  But please don't make me use my dad's work voice on you.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Rain Shower Thought

So today was a drive day to get back down to San Luis Obispo for the week.

And it rained at various strengths my entire drive.  It was like I was following Rob McKenna's lorry.

But then as I neared my destination I had a thought:

It is possible that one of the molecules of water that I started in Emeryville with remained on the car for the entire drive only to fall off the car when I parked it?

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Timing is Everything

So, this morning when I left the hotel it was wet.  Like, the rain stopped right before I left wet.  But t wasn't raining at that time, so I rode my bike.

Aside from the ride to the deYoung Museum, this was the first bike ride since the Thursday before Christmas.  And it was wonderful.

Sure, I was going to work, but it was getting back into a routine that felt good. If I'm going to be forced to be away from home for extended periods of time, then routine helps the time pass better.

And once again I was reminded that I have got to bring my fender with me.  My ass wasn't wet, but the muddy water spray up the back of my vest needs help.  Fortunately, it got on the vest and not my shirt.

And then not thirty minutes after leaving, and fifteen minutes after getting to work, it started to rain again.  And it rained at various strengths for another hour before stopping for good.

That is timing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Non-Consensual Water Play

So, today work was rained out.  We're at an in-between phase where we're not quite digging in Phase II, and we're still backfilling Phase I.  So yesterday was mostly importing literally tons of material to fill in the hole in the ground we made last year.

Today?  Not so much.  By 8 this morning we had 7/10ths of an inch of rain at the site.  As I write this we are somewhere around 2 1/4 inches.

So today was mostly sitting in the cold office doing paperwork at least after gathering stormwater samples.

Then I hightailed it back to the hotel and enjoyed the pool and hot tub.

Here's hoping that tomorrow the rain tapers off.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

A Specific Direction

So over the past week, Jennifer and kept hearing a seemingly specific selection of music wherever we went.

Aretha Franklin
Booker T and the MGs
"Sweet Home Chicago"
Motown

And of course, Carrie Fisher passed away.

When we put it all together, it could mean only one thing: We had to watch "The Blues Brothers"

Now, I was never one who (knowingly at least) had a crush on Carrie Fisher.  I wasn't jealous of Han Solo/Harrison Ford.  There just wasn't ever anything there.

Watching "The Blues Brothers" again you notice things.  The bit of nudge at Star Wars when Carrie as "The Mystery Woman" has a different hairstyle in every one of her scenes.  Sure, she works at Curl Up and Dye, but still.

And then there is the thought of all of those in the movie who have passed:

Carrie Fisher
John Belushi
John Candy
Ray Charles
Cab Calloway
James Brown
Henry Gibson
Kathleen Freeman
John Lee Hooker

We watched the "Extended Cut" which I do not recommend because the lighting in some scenes is jarring and you see Elwood at work where he quits.  And you see his eyes because he is wearing clear safety glasses.  It's the conceit of the movie that you never see Elwood's eyes and Jake's only when he pleads for the Mystery Woman not to kill him.

Watch the original, and be happy.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Becoming a Safer Cyclist

For Christmas, I pre-ordered the Revolights Eclipse+ for my bike.

So, I've been watching Revolights for a few years now  I remember when they came up on Indiegogo for their original Revolights 360.  It was a fascinating project, but at the time, I just could see spending that much one on my bike.

Then they launched a second campaign for the Eclipse+.  I was hooked, and I've been waiting for the right time to get the new version.  It turns out that they are on track to be released this month.

Jennifer and I went walking one day a few months ago, and saw the crew taking pictures at night.  It turned out that Revolights is located here in Emeryville.

So, this week, we walked over and ordered a set.  And if they are as great as they look, Jennifer will be getting a set as well.

I'm very excited, and eager for them to be released.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

It's a New Year

And so, it is 2017.

And what does one do on the first day of the year?  Well, of course, one goes for a bike ride.

Today we rode to BART, went into the City, and rode to Golden Gate Park and the De Young Museum.  Specifically for the Frank Stella Retrospective.

If you are a bike rider, I cannot recommend Golden Gate Park enough on a Sunday.  About half of the Park is designated as an auto free zone, and you can just ride and ride with only other cyclists, roller skaters and bladers, skateboarders, and walkers to deal with.  It is bliss.

The Frank Stella show was amazing to see with just amazing pieces of abstract artwork to see.

After the museum, we went and were able to get seats at the patio of the Beach Chalet.  It was a wonderful experience of buffet and bottomless mimosas (mimosea?).

Then we walked on the beach, and I watched the sand blow.



Then we rode back to BART with an incredible downhill on Oak back to Market, and then came home.

It was a wonderful day of wine, woman, and wind.

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