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comment by AstroFrank
AstroFrank  ·  233 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Summer Check In.

Another almost disaster was I slipped and fell and got an interesting bruise that took more than a month to heal. For about a week I just laid in bed and waited to heal with no energy to do anything other than read. When talking to the doctors during my first appointment, there was some chatter about lifestyle choices and all that other rubbish. Then they tested my cardio response, which brings me to my one big win this year. With the weight loss and scrappy look, I decided to take advantage of the situation over the winter. I started, and completed, the 100 pushup challenge, the 100 sit-up challenge and the 100 pull-up challenge. I can now do 60 pushups at a time before needing a rest, and can do three sets in a row. The pull-ups were the demon I was most interested in conquering as I have never, even when young and healthy, been able to do more than about 20 at a time. Sometime in February, I hit 40 pullups per set. The weight loss helps, certainly, the gain in muscle mass even more so. I passed a hospital's cardio stress test this spring for the first time in 18 years. 30 minutes at 95% heart rate and at the end I was barely huffing and puffing. Passed it and then owned it. I have the heart health of a man a decade younger, the muscle mass of a man 15-20 years younger and the treatments for my endocrine malfunctions are working better than before to the point we are talking about what to do when the sweet sweet gubmint money stops paying for my treatments. Last bill I looked at, it costs the taxpayer some $70K every time I walk into a hospital. Thanks, you suckers in the blue states, for paying your federal taxes that go to shit hole states like the one I live in. With the conversations, we talked about diet, and something came up that really made me go "huh, interesting." I don't eat sugar any more. I obviously do not eat at restaurants any more either. Sugar does not really fit in with what I eat on the hillside and I do not keep it on hand. My kidneys are shit thanks to multiple mistakes when I was younger, but they are now sort of working again, there is even evidence they are repairing themselves. The doc asked if I was doing something like Keto, and no I'm not. I eat pasta and rice as it stores well and only needs boiling water to cook. With butter and cheese on hand? Gonna be a rice and pasta Alfredo winter. I only drink coffee and water. I buy processed sausages and eat those as snacks, I'm not doing a retarded "caveman" or "paleo" or whatever podcast diet fad is the rage this week. Meat, veggies, root vegetables, sauces, leafy greens and squash. When I don't feel like cooking, or am unable to cook due to weather or fuel, I eat instant camper dinners that come in those storable tubs at Costco, maybe once or twice a month. In the summer when I am running to town often I eat lots of egg dishes as eggs do not store well over winter. Raising chickens would only feed the predators, but with the freezer I might start eating chicken more to save money. This may be my last summer of expensive medical care. My resting heart rate was 60, my BP at the last visit was 110/60. I've maintained a weight under 80Kg for two years now. I'm healthy and fit to the point where I wonder if my physical presence is why the car buying adventure went so well. I'm still an angry looking ugly cunt, but now not fat and soft looking.

There were a few other near misses and oh shits this winter, and each one just became more of a "this is part of living" instead of a panic. I told a dude-bro driving a truck with texas plates to go fuck himself and laughed at him after he mocked the old truck for being, well, an old truck. I'll call that a win. I had a run in with the local wolf pack looking for a warm place to stay, and was able to discourage them with Gaelic punk blasting out on the porch. Really. I was able to get a huge deal on gravelling the road up the hill, the guys had a bit of work cancel on them so I got my grade and gravel about a third off what I was expecting to pay. Damn that gravel and road work cost a lot of money, Three trucks worth, and rental of heavy equipment to make repairs I needed to make 3-4 years ago. I need to do that roughly every 4-10 years depending on weather, so add that to the expense list. I might have to hire someone with a bulldozer to clean up some edges to make the road last longer, might find someone with bigger rocks to protect the corners and cliff faces. End result is that this fall-spring period I spent more monies than in the last two years combined. That hurts a bit, but I invested for the shit show so I'm still in good shape. To live, I need 25K a year, half of that is taxes and fees for things like road access, insurance, etc. Last year I spent a whopping 8200 on food more like 12K if you count the supplies I needed for the garden.

With a new truck, I drove home and did some thinking about what next. I'm mostly set financially, I'm healthier than I have been this century. Then the final disaster. My parents must have been embarrassed by their church fiends and asked about how I am doing, because they called me. The phone was off grid and they left a voice message that seemed sincere and decent so I called them back when I was in town. This is the first time we talked in over a year. Someone wrote that there is a great tragedy in people where some die at 30, but are not buried until 80. My parents are the embodiment of that thought. They are long lost, and a prime reason why the country, hell the world, is shit. My solar panels are why the weather is messed up because they... something about stealing sun light and making the weather hotter (?!?!?) or some what the fuckery. Trump is still president. The church is not guilty of child abuse it is George Soros trying to steal money from Catholics to fund pedo rings. The vaccines are full of poison and killing people. Fox News went woke, whatever that is supposed to mean? The call was an hour, the questions a normal human would ask like "Are you OK?" "Do you miss us?" "Do you want to visit?" Might have been a five minute prelude to bullshit. It is probably the last time we will talk until we meet at a funeral sometime in the future. Not sure why, but this call fucked with my head. So, I sat down, wrote a letter to them about the stuff I've done and built, and wished them well. It was not a farewell, nor was this a "FUCK YOU" more like a "if we had time on the call this is what we should have talked about" sort of letter. I rewrote the letter to make the tone more 'chipper' I guess, and advised them on my winter routine. Mailed it from the big city while visiting my doctor, just in case they try to track me down; on the phone is one thing, in person is its own ball of hell.

Speaking of melancholy, another astronomer died. He was a freind, had a nice family, and some amazing telescopes. His widow reached out to me, and I now possess his biggest and most wonderful telescope, a rare piece of equipment with a documented history, along with some of his things. He put me in his will, and told his wife "Make sure he takes these things because he deserves this stuff and will use it, don't let him say no." Like I said, decent guy and a real friend that knows me. I took her and thier surviving adult children to dinner, talked about life a bit, they all remarked that I look amazing considering I was obese and way out of sorts the last time we were in person together. I now own three very large telescopes along with a couple of higher end imaging rigs, and have no idea what to do with them. They are all in the observatory I built with my spare time and materials I could get cheap here and there. I have two imaging piers, two full imaging rigs and a large visual telescope ready for use every clear night, of which lately there have not been many. The other two large dobsonians are wrapped and protected from the elements until I figure out what to do with them. Might donate one or two of the nicer setups, might sell them, might bury them, might burn them. I don't need the money I'd have to work for with ads and travel and delivery etc, so right now I'm not sure what to do with this gear. Funny that I finally got the big high end stuff when I fucked off, not when I was active. I looked on the market and big visual telescopes are not selling, if and when they do its at deep discounts and the sales take weeks. I'm probably stuck with them for the time being. Speaking of people dying that will be terribly missed, the author of some of the best astro books I have in my collection died. They are going to name a dark sky reserve after him. Wonderful person, he was a blast to have at a star party. I wrote about a star party that was murdered by the local college, this guy taught astronomy classes at the event several times. He accepted several of my images and sketches which were ultimately not used in his books; he liked what I gave him and encouraged me to help some of the pro people with data for their papers. I'm listed by name in at least 41 separate papers now, three of those are PhD theses where I contributed data. Of the five people that drug me into doing science outreach, four are dead and the fifth fucked off into the aether like I did. I'm proud of him; his kids threw a fit every time he bought something, almost like they were hoping he died faster to inherit his savings. The couple that ran that star party I mentioned? They sold everything, bought an RV and vanished. Again, good on them, they are wonderful people and did not deserve what happened when the whole nonsense went down. They have my contacts, maybe they will come and visit. The "not a star party" they organized after COVID, from what I can gather they bought out a campsite, did not advertise and had a good time with a "small" group of about 100 people. The park rangers were pissed off over this somehow (never got the full story but sounds a lot like butthurt), and nobody will step in to fill that gap of running an official event. From what the local astro club people are saying nobody will volunteer; the organization is most likely going to fold this year or next as they cannot find people that want to run the thing and none of the new people in the astro club that joined over COVID want to volunteer for anything. From what I can see on the website for the park, the two rangers working to make the park a science-y center where they teach everything from geology to botany to conservation to astronomy? Those two rangers are no longer listed on the web site, so I hope they got jobs where they are vauled. Nearly thirty years of good will and free labour, thrown away on a whim... I wonder why the people with time and skills are not stepping up by the hundreds any more, it's a fucking mystery. Nobody wants to work any more, right? Go figure, people don't like being disrespected, and volunteers even less so.

I had to forward existing mail to the new PO box, and I still get scraps of the old life. In the bundle of mail was a trickle of atta-boys and where are you's, a few "Yo, sucker come help us" letters and a few notes from people I helped back when I cared. One kid we helped get into college, long ago it seems now, he is working on Artemis. One of the girl scouts we helped get hooked up with a physics program was granted time on James Webb; this one I am truly proud of, she was one of our "rescues" who needed somewhere to go and a reason to be there so that she was not at home. Not everyone gets a happy childhood. One of the kids got a masters and went to Europe to work at ArianeSpace, another is teaching astrophysics at a mid-tier college overseas. So HOORAH on those two for escaping the American experience. When I die, my name will live on maybe one more generation before it vapourizes into nothingness.

In internet news, I had to research a build process and the top five results in various search engines all lead back to the nazi shit hole that is reddit. Only to find that all the subreddits were in lockdown. Reddit is going to fire mods? how do you fire people that are not paid? This did bring a chuckle, even if I could not get an answer to my question. Reddit is going to go public? the fuck? that dumpster fire? And it looks like Musk bought twitter and now everyone knows he's a piece of shit, not just those of us that have been following his antics for the last decade or so. There was a guy doing solar off grid stuff on Twitter, I tried to get to his account and it looks like Twitter is locked down and you can't see anything unless you have an account. No thanks. Looking at twitter, it looks like a place that sounthingawful did not even dare to dream about. Twitter looks as if 4chan and thedonald collected all the rotten human trash of the last 25 years all in one place, and made that a safe place for nazis and racists. Then gave that swill a legitimized global voice with a drunken frat boy cheer over the downfall of democracy. Sadly, these "people" exist and pollute every forum and place of discourse with more than 100 active members. Forums and small websites for people living off grid are right wing echo bullshit chambers and the DIY spirit is being drowned out by REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. The internet is the worst invention in human history, my point stands again. I got blocked from youtube due to running adblockers, lol. I realize now writting that above, the last time I played a video game was... early 2019, maybe? Maybe summer of 2019? Imagine me saying that to the 30 year old me.

Part 3

The death march continues. Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT), one of the premier astronomy vendors in the USA for the last 70ish years is finally dead. It was a viable, profitable, company when the previous owner, Craig, sold and retired back in 2015 after which it was never the same. I stopped recomending them to people by 2017 as their service went to pot. The new owners were flaky, they gave me an "off" vibe, I think the guy that bought the business was a fitness instructor or something before running OPT, the new owner is doing Tedx talks, justifying my original hunches. Craig is awesome; every time I was able to meet him it was like talking to the cool uncle who had all the amazing toys and encouraged everyone around him to be better (and buy more stuff of course). The first telescope I bought with my own money came from the original OPT. Craig dressed like Santa in his ads in the 90's, he is a great character. Orion telescopes is recovering from buying the old stalwart Meade Telescopes, and looks like they are fighting for inventory against Chinese collusion... there are lawsuits all over the place and the whole business looks terrible. If Orion and Meade can survive the next few years I think they will make it. I hope. One of, if not the, authority on telescope eyepieces is retiring this year and closing up shop as well. Two separate companies making mirrors for visual telescopes are going to see their last products ship out this year, then no more. There are a few dedicated astonomy vendors out there, maybe all the other closures will send them enough business to keep going. Two of the few guys left making mirrors for non-professional telescopes are on their last orders and will close up shop this year. The retail storefronts selling astronomy gear are all gone, not exactly a bad thing as niche hobby gear needs people with time and money and access, and all retail looks like it is hurting now. Storefronts are expensive, better to focus on customer support and online sales. Hobbies are in deep trouble due to most people struggling to make rent and/or working two jobs just to feed themselves and/or their families. Hard to find time for anything other than surviving when you live paycheque to paycheque with the rent always due. Coincidently, the European side of the hobby is doing great. Maybe the new American reality should be to make enough money, get enough skills and get the fuck out of here.

This summer makes it four years up here. The person that walked into the realtor office and bought land on a whim is dead, and he is never coming back. I won't let that happen. I'm not angry, I'm not sad, I'm not, well, anything any more. Centered. Maybe that is the right word. I feel more mentally alive and functional than I have in years. Being off the open sewer of the internet has made me a person again. Not working in the computer industry? THAT has made me human, again. I recomend everyone try not working for a living, it's not bad. Without a librarian, and the local bars being terrible, the gossip in town was light, but intereting. Two couples that bought land about the time I did are gone, and a few of the herd of people that bought up here during COVID still own land, but nobody sees them around, most likely they are holding the land they bought for retirement, common up here. The two busineses that seem to be thriving? The very nice lady running the coffee shop with her elderly mother, and the gas station. The local coffee shop is now the gossip HQ. Schools are consolidating due to not enough kids to justify keeping multiple school districs open. Who is making sub-$20/hr and having kids? People in town are talking with a notable hint of panic about what to do once the money of running a school goes elsewhere. Everything else is in that holding pattern before the knives drop and everything dies. The interest rate hikes are going to slaughter a lot of rural businesses that were struggling through the pandemic. Good. Lots of talk about demographics and "kids these days" but missing the context that the boomer generation created a world everyone with a brain is trying to flee. The service companies with shit-level sociopath bosses/owners cannot find people to work for them now that there are options, a sight that makes me cheer a bit on the inside, except for the rot that comes with the death of industry and all. Oh, and pro tip for all the bosses out there? The people you shit on are all connected and talking. Good bosses and good places to work get people, if you start to see a drop in applications? Yea, the people that would apply to your job are doing research and talking to people. Some 1/3 of people in the US under 30 are on mental health drugs according to the signs in the hospitals. The American dream is dead and honestly good riddance. Rent for an apartment in "the city" is unafordable to a single income of $35K a year, and I doubt many younger people are making that here, so they leave. If rent is this out of control in a red state shitwater, I can only imagine how bad it is in a place people should actually want to live. I have no idea how anyone making less that 20/hour is living, much less saving or having kids. The pyramid scam long con MLM that is capitalism needs fresh blood else it collapses, and the ani-immigrant people are not helping. And the US birthrate is the lowest in your history.

Why post? Honestly, not sure. It does not matter at the end of the day, really. Maybe one more fare-thee-well. Maybe a fuck you to people thinking I was an idiot (to be honest I was one of those people). Maybe I am trying to kill that last ember that still wants to care about things. The internet is a personality murdering, self-imprisoning, mental wellbeing killer, dopamine destroyer. The death of the boomers will be the end of television, and I used to think that nothing could be worse of humanity than the TeeVee. Boy, was I stupid and wrong.

For all the worry I had when I left civilization, I am thriving. Each month is another win, each year up here is adding two to my lifespan. The conversations have moved on from ten years left and have a will in place to what do I do if money runs out? I have enough coin to live comfortably until I am in my late 70's when I anticipate social security and disability get cut off, and honestly anyone planning on government retirement funds gets what they deserve. It's only a matter of time before they come after our 401K's now that I think about it. I'll hopefully be dead and all y'all can deal with that. Yet, I'm not very negative at the homestead; things are going well for me at least. I'm doing fine. In probably the first time in my adult life, I am where I am suposed to be, doing that which I need to live. For the first time in a forever, I am home.





kleinbl00  ·  232 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    In probably the first time in my adult life, I am where I am suposed to be, doing that which I need to live. For the first time in a forever, I am home.
AstroFrank  ·  166 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You really are a fucking cunt, ain't ye?

You have been doing naught but ride me cock since I came back online. didn't you tell me to, what was it? RECALIBRATE, MOTHER FUCKER? Oh, yea, you did.

Who is it that tells me to come down from the mountain? Oh yea you did.

Rip on me after I called you out for defending money over people? You did that.

You called me out by name implying that "my tin foil hat was on too tight?"

Then, you rode my ass about a report on a city that even you admit you had not been to in a generation, and for some weird as shit reason went on a tangent defending tech bros? Comparing of all things, car costs because demographics is obviously made up bullshit? Dude, Idaho is fully owned by the mormons, those evil shit-heeled traitors you called "Nice" The same people running a multi billion dollar hedge fund built on misogyny and child abuse spearheading hate legislation targeting my friends, attacking women's health, and running OBGYN's out of the state. Mormons are not nice, in any way shape or form. When they are not fully engaged in a culture of child abuse they are trying to kill my friends and overthrow democracy. Traitors is the nicest thing I will say about them and here you are... nice like a boot on the neck, assface. So now I take a step back are assess. Let's look at you, objectively.

1. You are still listed as the moderator of a default reddit community.

2. Crypto, it's own vile cesspool of "best people"

3. You worked in Hollywood, and reality television at that.

4. German sports car.

No wonder you defend tech bros, gotta fight for you tribe and all, I get it. If laughable douche tech cunt had a generic profile, that list above would be a good start. The only thing missing is shoveling mud at your environmental disaster of a tech/drug conference in the Nevada desert. But hey my carbon footprint is 20-30 families negative, so when it all goes sideways on your coastal cities, I'll pretend to be concerned.

Then, it turns out you are going full in on landlording. Now, I get you, gombeen. No landlord is a good person, none. Once you own the place a man lives or works you are a tyrant. Owning a man's home is one step on a very short slide to serfdome. So, let's take a look at the last few years or so.

I come back online because my so called friends made me shake hands with the devil. Since then, you have felt the desire to ride me arse hard for making decisions I needed to make 10 years ago. Hey, I get why. People like you need saps, suckers and fools to do the "good" work your kind won't touch. Can't be selling the trinkets and baubles to the genrty if your hands smell like shite, eh? We've been back and forth over our rearings, and compared notes. Now, however, I think you lived in the la-la land of fiction and made up shite so long and inhaled that aeire so long that I have doubt. If you parents were really working as you say they were, your family was solid middle class. Mine most certainly were not. This means you are either a tourist trying to game both sides of the incoming shit show or you are a class traitor. And holy fucking blazes typing that I miss minimumwage and could use their additional snark right now. Cause us poors and plebs all want a smug shitheeled know it all to dispense life advice.

I mean you come off as a guy trying to be the resident hubski republican/centrist(same thing) but I did not think you'd stoop to elected senator level of "I have always been completely against this successful path and now take full credit for its implementation" shitfuckery.

Recalibrate, Mother fucker.

Looks like both of us did. I chose to focus on my humanity and place of self, you chose something else. Cool, as long as the cunt in the mirror is happy, and nobody else has to pay for your bullshit? sure you do you. But don't come here and pat me on the head like one of your damned projects and gaslight everyone into thinking you are in the right here. If this is how you react to me? no wonder you run everyone off this board. Curses to me for not seeing this shit in the past and calling it out, that sin is on me. Least I can do is stand up and not be yer dancing monkey.

Speaking of bullshit and right side of history, because I can hear the "REEEEEEEE" and feel the warmth of the incoming dumpster fire from all the way out here, I am going to say these words in as plain saxon english as I can. I am not mad. I am not angry. I am not even a bit on the piss. I AM FUCKING LAUGHING ME SHITE ARSE OFF. This shit has me sideways, lad. good job probably the first real good belly laugh I've had in years. This shit is bloody comedy, not good comedy mind ye, but I think its fucking hilarious. The mate who is letting me crash at his place while I prep for winter thought I was off me meds describing why I hate the internet, he laughed as hard as I did over this shit. I hope whatever country club you are pledging is everything you deserve.

Go sell your baubles and trinkets to the wealthy and lick those boots extra hard, they might even let you in their club; those types always seem to want pets around. Better yet? drive that fancy go cart down to the shore line, buy a big barrel of pickled dicks, take them home and choke on the lot. Have a nice day.

kleinbl00  ·  165 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I highlighted what I highlighted because it brought me joy. I miss you. Honestly, earnestly and without irony. And I highlighted it because it was the first thing you've written in a very long time that had some hope and optimism to it.

For... 30 years now I have taken on the wayward children of the Internet, via PM and email, to be a Magic Mirror of advice. It took me roughly 25 years to figure out that I do it because I've never been able to tell the kid inside "it all turned out okay." I got to where I am through no guidance but my own. That's not how I'd have chosen to do it. Looking back from my unashamedly, unabashedly accomplished place in the clouds I can see how much more easily and painlessly I could have gotten through a lot of stuff if there had been someone there simply to bounce ideas off of.

Likewise, I look at you and I see a path less traveled. The anger that I'm choosing to let go of. The hopelessness I fight not to embrace. The fundamental, despairing rage. The health problems that are mine, only ten years down the road and an order of magnitude worse. There are many lives I haven't lived and yours is most definitely one of them - I was inches away from joining you on the cannery fleet, for example.

That's the sort of stuff that the internet ultimately fails at. Intense, heartfelt, non-negative emotion. That is why everyone is leaving - if we were in a room together you could watch my face, hear my voice and recognize gladness for what it is. Instead you're upbraiding me for not hating Boise enough nearly two years ago.

If the end result of all my communication with you is "the first real good belly laugh you've had in years" I am glad of that, too. It seems like you haven't been given much and if that's what you'll take from me, have it with my blessing. But please listen when I say this: my whole point, since you decided to nope out entirely, was "it's not so bad here." And I say that because thee and me looked out over the horizon, looked inward to ourselves, and made fundamentally different decisions. You chose to go, I chose to stay.

You've fought earnestly and valiantly against your environment and have triumphed. Again, this brings me unironic joy. I've fought earnestly and valiantly against my environment and have triumphed. This does not bring me joy because, as you said, tech-bro class-traitor Hollywood-boot-licker yadda yadda yadda. Rest assured nothing you can say is a tenth as colorful or relentless as my internal monologue. Yet here we sit, separated by months and thousands of miles, having a dialog.

That cabin up in the mountains a million miles from anywhere, just you and your telescope? That was the first dream I allowed myself to have. There was no part of me that wanted city streets and a knowledge of Windsor knots. That's back when 7 stoplights was too cosmopolitan by half; I grew up in a town that was 70% Mormon, with a Mormon police chief who issued a fatwah against my entire family when I was barely old enough to read because my mom was friends with "the gays." That guy? Yeah he managed to kill four of his own officers in four years in "training accidents"when I was in high school. Huh - a cop has been following me and my friends everywhere we go for five hours - must be a Saturday. One stepbrother is enough; I'd have two except the SLC police department ruled that the other one had committed suicide with a hunting rifle from across the room. The Mormon hate? I haz it. And yet steve is a hell of a nice guy and I'm supremely glad to know him. Nicest guy at my school was a Mormon, actually - probably why he died of a brain tumor at 35. Yeah, Unibomber shack with a 20" reflector and tens of thousands of dollars of SBIG was the goddamn dream. But then I met a girl who wanted to help women become mothers and then we did the math and it only pays for itself in a metropolitan area and then you make lemonade. You'll excuse me if I offer you a glass from time to time.

"Class traitor" is an interesting epithet. It was coined by the NKVD to enforce the Soviet system of state-sanctioned hierarchy and has been applied vociferously and eagerly to any foreign social strife ever since. I don't care which sociologist you care to cite, they all agree that social mobility is the cornerstone of democracy. They differ on how much the wealthy should be penalized for their mistakes and how much support the poor should be given in their advances but the only people firmly in the 'know your place' camp are the totalitarians. If you look at it, I'm the one who comes from a long line of slave-owners. My great-uncle was the chief of surgery at Montefiore, not yours. If I get my daughter into Harvard it will not be a WASP milestone but a continuation; yeah yeah foodstamps yeah yeah RIT dye but also Swarthmore and Cornell. The Soviets would welcome me back to the nomenklatura with open arms; I've learned the error of my ways and now know that the proletariat has nothing to share with the guiding lights of the Party. You? You're a peasant who refuses to work. Do you not understand your place in the system, comrade?

But we both know that's bullshit. You've finally achieved some happiness and that makes me glad. I haven't. I likely never will. The rich will never trust me because I am obviously up-jumped white trash; the poor will never trust me because I am obviously a "class traitor." So let me share what I do have:

Every person has something that costs too much. They have some item that for them, is a splurge. The economists (European economists; these are dangerous ideas in this here American Republic) even have metrics: we all own something that costs roughly 50 percent more than the thing we should have bought, and that thing is our anchor.

"I'm not truly poor, I have nice kicks." "I'm not lower-middle-class, I have a Coach wallet." "I'm upper-middle-class, I drive a BMW." "I'm wealthy, I wear a Rolex." This is why the Republicans hammer on this stuff - their job is much easier if people lack the mental fluidity to imagine other possibilities. "This is why we can't have nice things" - Feudalism as meme, right there. The poor aren't truly poor if they have flat screen TVs and air conditioning, I saw it on Tucker Carlson. What made you upper-class in '80s Moscow? A washing machine.

So making nice things that the people with student loan payments and a 10-year-old car who struggle with their childcare expenses can afford? Yer goddamn right. That's me being a class traitor. Kinda like the duel I'm having with the city council right now - their new building code was crafted so vociferously to ban "methadone clinics" that they ended up banning "clinics." Me? I a third of my patients are Medicaid. I can absolutely make money off poor people by providing them healthcare. It's my flavor of capitalism - lemonade flavor.

__________________________

I highlighted what I highlighted because I have nothing to add to your monolog. I have nothing to argue with. You could write that last sentence on your tombstone and it'd be a happy ending. We've been trading notes for ten years or more now and I didn't think you'd make it this far. Neither did you. Your day-to-day is very different from mine and no lie - I'm envious. A big part of me would be very happy dealing with your bullshit, rather than mine. But lemme share a story:

I used to do airport noise mitigation. 'round here that meant coming into your apartment, setting up microphones, and sitting there in the silence until I'd counted a requisite number of planes. So there I am, sitting in someone eles's space, and that space is extremely airport-adjacent.

There were nice apartments - lemons from lemonade. There were ghastly apartments - one dude just had pee pads scattered all over the floor and had clearly let his dog go wherever for weeks to make the space "welcoming" for us (never mind that he volunteered). One really stuck with me though. Living room was empty except for a big screen TV, a barcalounger, a horse trough full of canned chili and a horse trough full of empty chili cans. Oh, and a TV tray with a fork on it. And I could hear the siren song of its simplicity. Still can.

I think every dude struggles not to "feed that wolf." I think it takes a lot more fortitude to turn your back on the world and dare nature not to kill you. I think it is an inspiring act of courage to refuse your lot and survive, to make a better life out of nothing, to ultimately reject that thing that gets most of us out of bed in the morning and to do it in a way that isn't two troughs of chili and a flat screen.

So you'll forgive me if I occasionally put on your shoes and second-guess your choices. Would I be as full of outrage, as condemning of everyone I meet, as seethingly spiteful of earnest, heartfelt congratulations?

I fight it every moment, mutherfucker.

So from one cranky old man to another, I'm glad you got a belly laugh. You need more of them. And I'm glad I still get under your skin. It means you're still listening. And I'm glad you're not dead.

Keep it up.

dublinben  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is a tiny aside from your excellent update. But if you're ever trying to look at something on Twitter in the future, there's a great project called Nitter that allows you to do so without creating an account. For example here's one instance of it pointed to the profile of the New York Times.