12th Day – Exploring this blog’s purpose

I guess the numbering system won’t end up being so bad. As I typed “12th Day,” I didn’t think of it as the 12th day since ending something, but instead that it’s the 12th consecutive day I am writing an entry. Maybe I thought that because I almost decided to skip writing something today. Earlier I sent Dana a longish ramble that satiated my desire to type out thoughts. But, then, I decided… No. This is a goal. Stick to it until it becomes second nature.

I realize that I don’t have a theme for my blog, which won’t exactly help to build an audience. While it is both flattering and humbling to have accumulated a fairly impressive number of page views of my Day 10 entry just from sharing it on my Facebook wall, I’m not sure I want to measure my life’s ambition by page views.

I used to.

Many moons ago, before the Facebook era, I had a website devoted to images taken at Renaissance Faires sprinkled with some personal galleries. That, obviously had a theme. It also had a purpose. It was 1999, and I wanted to visit a Renaissance Faire. Bristol had about a month and half before its opening day for the season. After reading through usenet forums and doing some web searches (I think I was still using Yahoo! to search instead of Google), I found a page that listed a few faires that were going on. But, the closest ones were in Tennessee and St. Louis. I wanted to see some pictures of them to get an idea if it’d be worth the drive, but image galleries were scarce and digital cameras hadn’t quite hit the consumer level.


Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire 1999


I opted to try out the St. Louis faire, and with a great friend, took a six hour drive.


Fortuitously, I had also recently purchased a digital camera — a Sony Mavica — one of those ones that used 3.5″ floppy disks. I think I could get 10 – 15 pictures on a disk at a resolution of 1024 x 768.

Dial-up connections were still the norm. Speedy users had 56.6kbps. T-1 lines were a dream and cost around $30,000 to have installed. I digress.


Before teaching dragged me into adulthood


I made a simple web page, posted a link to the images on alt.fairs.renaissance.

A persona, and an obsession, was born.


Friendships forged at Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire 1999


As I fight with the formatting here to get this to look just like I want it, I’m not sure if all this futzing is worth the effort. How do I crop the damn images? Why don’t I have more control over the caption boxes? Ugh. Why can’t I move the sumnabitch where I want it — move up one frickin’ line, would ya!? 

For the record, I am NOT happy with the way these images are laid out. But, I also just wanted to make a quick entry before playing some Star Wars: Battlefront, so screw it. I’ll just have to live with it. Besides, all this was just to drive home the point that I can get obsessive about interests. I already once was motivated by page views, and I don’t think I need to explore that again. I’m blogging simply to journal my days… largely for me. Hopefully others find them interesting or entertaining.

I sat in Racine while the windows were installed, and I charged the battery of a car that’s been sitting since September. I also contacted the DMV about some particulars regarding selling that car and drafted some paperwork for the impending sale. Once all that was done, I stopped at Rocky Rococo’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner, then headed home for a nap.

As I said before, after the nap, I composed a rambling message to Dana. She got home from her work/volleyball day around 8:00. We watched a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad (season three) before she decided to go romp around slumberland. And here we are.


(Note: I just previewed this page — I am really unhappy with the presentation.)



Combined thoughts about the end of 2/25

So I just left that meeting. *shrug*. I wish I could say that it ended up being “good.” Hell, I wish I could say that it ended up “bad.” It just was. At the moment, I just feel like it was going through the motions. Things were said. Questions were asked. Thoughts were clarified. I think factions walked in with preconceived notions and will leave without have those perceptions majorly altered.

A sentiment oft repeated is, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.” With that in mind, I don’t mind having attended the meeting because it was part of today’s journey. But, y’know, as much as I used to love just driving around and taking long road trips, I now prefer to have at least a general destination in mind before getting in the car. I honestly feel like there are a bunch of people in this RUSD car intending on going somewhere… probably different places and planning on different stops along the way while listening to different things on the radio. I’m not even surprised that the superintendent didn’t show up for the ride.

I’m getting off at the next stop, and I truly hope that the rest of the passengers end up getting where they would like to. I would like to end up in that general area too. Disembarking from this analogous car here might cause me to take longer to arrive at that destination, or I might get there a whole heck-of-lot earlier and have to sit around twiddling my thumbs. I likely get sidetracked and lost on the way to where I was going, but that doesn’t really bother me. I’m thankful and excited to continue my journey my own way — with only the people I choose.

That reminds me of the first longish road trip I took by myself. I wanted to go to a Renaissance faire being held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It was a nine hour drive. At one point  I stopped for gas at a truck stop and saw a Star Wars video game. I stayed there for about an hour and a half playing that video game at a truck stop in the middle of Iowa. Sometimes during that journey I thought I should feel lonely or like a loser because I was taking a long trip… through Iowa of all places… to go to a Renaissance faire… by myself (granted, I was meeting someone there and ended up meeting another person that would become a long-time friend), but there were a couple of points that were really profound for me. The first was playing that video game in a truck stop. I didn’t have to be concerned that I was infringing on anyone else’s desire to get moving again. I wasn’t worried that someone else I was with would be bored watching me play the video game, or worse, want to take a turn. I could stay as long as I wanted with only myself to please.

Iowa Sunset taken with a Sony Mavica camera 1999

The second point was when the sun was setting. It was gorgeous. Here I was on an open road surrounded by cornfields in the middle of Iowa with hardly any traffic. I think I was on an Interstate, but it didn’t really matter. I pulled over to the side of the road, took out my digital camera, and shot some pictures of the sunset. No one was telling me that I shouldn’t do that or couldn’t.

The last point was on the way home. I had intended to drive straight through, but I ended up getting tired. I pulled over into the nearest Best Western and got a room for the night. Again, I appreciated where the journey was taking me and the freedom to just do what I wanted to do. The room was pretty darn cool, like a castle chamber. I shit you not, there was a four-post king sized bed with a canopy. Fortunately there was also a pool, and I had brought a pair of swim trunks. You betcha, I decided to enjoy the pool. As I was kicking back in the hot tub, there was another couple in there with me playing smoochie-face (with themselves, not me). At that point I felt a bit awkward. But, only a little bit. Maybe more than a little bit. I don’t know. I remember it — okay!?

Rogues and Gypsies Council Bluffs, Iowa 1999

Yeah, I remember thinking I had some really great moments on that trip feeling liberated and free in my mostly solitary adventure that had a few really awesome moments of fellowship. I remember weighing the scales of those experiences against this one striking moment of awkwardness. Being able to impulsively stop there for the night was pretty cool, but if I had a companion, I wouldn’t have necessarily needed to stop. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have taken the chance to stay in that really neat room. Still, if we had stopped, I wouldn’t have thought about that couple.

Recreating a lesson from Dive! at Trader Joe’s April 14, 2014

That brings me back to how I perceive getting out of the car I’m riding in now. To some degree, yeah, it feels like that trip to Iowa. But, fortunately, there is one big difference. I know I’m not completely alone. I’ll have a companion, and while I might carry a wee bit of concern about stopping at a truck stop for an hour and a half to play a video game or possibly have to defend the sublime serenity and wonder of pulling over on the side of a highway to take a picture of a sunrise because it’s making a largely dull road-trip just a tad longer, I’m pretty confident that she’ll humor those types of whims — usually. There’s no question that it will be infinitely more comfortable not being a lone, strange creeper sharing a hot tub with an amorous couple.

In other news, I’m looking at a closing S&P value of 1951.70. It breached a hard upper barrier I’ve been watching for. If it remains above 1950 all day tomorrow, I may pick up a leveraged bull ETF to hold for a week or so. But, after market trading has it at 1949.25. It would make more sense to me that it will dip again tomorrow until around 1915 before turning back up again. I think it would be a wiser play to wait for that to occur. Yeah… that would be a wiser decision. I’m glad I took the experience of playing the currency markets. It was too easy making gut decisions — I’m seeing it as the difference between playing a game of chess vs. speed chess.