Training for the Post-Apocalypse

So Jeff texts me about Peter Joseph and the Zeitgeist Movement, have I seen it? Do I know this guy's stuff? etc. He's having a bit of an idealogical meltdown having just brought a new life into this effed up world and needs to bounce ideas off someone.

Somewhere inside me it feels like I've watched Zeitgeist (the movie) before, or at least heard about it. Probably off Jon Abinante's blog (http://linx.sweetwizard.com). I've always said Jon puts up all the things that are interesting to me from the internet. I don't have to surf because he's done it already.

I watch the interview with Peter Joseph (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw9IHJNB75E). And probably because he's talked about this stuff so much and maybe sick of people just discovering it, he comes across as a condescending pill, douche, etc. But his thinking lines up pretty close to my thinking. I text Jeff, "Am I like that?" Meaning, am I a pill? "Haha, well... When you get going..." Yeah, I'm a pill.

Next, I watch the movie (http://www.zeitgeistthefilm.com). He starts off with religion. If you know me, you know that his views on religion are pretty much exactly my views. I love all the facts he brings up though. All the stuff about how the ancients worshipped the sun and all the deities from all the major religions (and a ton of the minor religions) simply take some figure and replace the sun with that figure. Awesome stuff about all the major dates in most religions having direct correlations to astrological events and the sun and seasons, etc, etc. Makes religion just seem that much more non-sensical and ridiculous. Sorry if that offends you (eh, no I'm not, wake up). Yep, I'm a pill.

The movie goes on to 9/11 conspiracies that actually kind of fuck me up when I start seeing all that insane evidence that points away from ill trained terrorists (of the 19, what, 9 are still alive?). I remember looking at the photos from the other two wreck sites and wondering what everyone else was wondering... where are the planes? Weird that we all (the whole country) didn't freak out and go, huh?

He also does a huge section on the Federal Reserve and banking and economics and how the world is basically run by like 5 rich guys. Again, with all the evidence he brings up, it is plausible.

Buuuut, I do have this thing. Conspiracy theorists all seem nuts! Don't they? So a social stigma gets in the way of me exploring this more because I'm like... eh, this part doesn't line up with my thinking because that guy seems crazy... (or he seems like a pill).

So instead of going deep into what seems like it would result in me bearded, unwashed, surrounded by stacks of "evidence" in a basement some where, a single bare bulb illuminating my mangled mass of ginger hair and my half-crazed grimacing smile, I turn my thinking a bit.

Jeff gets worried because Peter Joseph says this always-consuming-to-make-the-economy-work world we live in can't last, which is true. We all know that. Fossil fuels are finite. We are using the world up. That part no one can deny. And the more people we bring into the world, the faster everything gets used. If there isn't drastic change, yeah, it will be the end of humans. And the end will probably be ugly and filled with suffering (both Jeff and I think, The Road). We don't want the people we care about to suffer, especially looking at those (small, seemingly helpless) people now, daughters, sons, nieces and nephews, even our parents if this collapse comes sooner rather than later.

Here is where I either have faith or I'm a jerk or I don't know. I hope it's the faith part. Not a religious faith based on what other people just accepted (lemming mentality), but a faith in the intelligence and strength of the people I care about. We are smart people. We will survive hard times. Even given situations that are foreign and scary and completely new (trying to find food in a destroyed world), I have faith that we could do it. I know that sounds naive and probably downright stupid, but there is where my faith is. My faith in the intelligence and problem solving skills of the people that are close to me. That's my church. Haha! I just figured that out typing this.

And here is where this becomes more fun, and where my theories fall into this dilemma. I can't imagine that the world is going to smart up and change (the last round of elections proves that to me, 11/2010). People with their religious fanaticism will chalk up whatever happens to god's will (whichever replacement for the sun you have chosen) and walk gladly into the fire. Good riddance. We leftovers will be trying to work out a way to survive this mess.

My plan? Keep learning skills that will help me survive in this eventuality (I may be dead of other things before this all happens, including very old age (shut up)). And everyone says cockroaches are going to be the ones to survive the apocalypse and yes, that's probably true. But I think, of humans, movie stars are the ones best equipped to live in a post-apocalyptic world.

If you're following my way of thinking here, I don't even need to explain that (what may seem like a crazy) statement. Think of someone like Viggo Mortensen. The guy is proficient with just about any kind of weapon, can ride horses like a mutha, probably knows a martial art or two... You get what I'm saying.

This entry is getting long, no? Just wanted you to have the intro to some of the tweets I'm sure I'll be tweeting, and blog entries I'm sure I'll be blogging all under the title, Training for the Post-Apocalypse.

Who's with me? Haha.

Training I feel I can check off:

1. I can drive just about any kind of vehicle.

2. From the age of about 9 to 16 I've made and discharged more weapons than probably most people. Anything from razor-tip arrows, to butane bottle bombs, to nail-firing blow guns, my friends and I caused a bit of havoc in my suburban/fringe rural town.

3. Between cub scouts (yeah I said cub scouts), Outdoor Ed in high school, and camping every summer of the first 18 years of my life (along with logging many hours watching Man vs. Wild), I feel pretty comfortable in the outdoors. Parents who were teachers left them off during the summers, but with 4 kids, didn't leave them with tons of money to entertain those kids. Camping!

More for the list soon. What's on your list? Are you prepared? What skill do you think is most important to have for the end of times? :)

See what I did there? You thought this was going to end up crazy and weird and really it's just a fun way to explain why I want to go to WyoTech and learn a martial art.

What Do I Read Now?

There is something sad about finishing a book of contemporary poetry. The good books are a treasured commodity. Being out of the literary/education community I really have to search and dig for poetry. The only bookstore that carries anything good is in Menlo Park, Kepler's, about 15 miles south. On top of that, I don't know the good, new poets anymore so whenever my old favorites come out with something new I attack it. Tony Hoagland, Billy Collins... according to the local Border's, they are the only two contemporary poets writing. Well, they and Mary Oliver. Where's Gary Soto's work? Where's Sharon Olds? Where's Mark Doty? Did Philip Levine die or did he just close up shop like all those factories he wrote about in Detroit and Hamtramck? Are his pencils piled, forgotten and dusty on his desk, the debris of eraser crumbs strewn across the blotter? Is his study locked up tight while he is out in the dusty sun of Fresno deciphering the footprints sparrows leave in a pollen-coated parking lot, next to a dumpster, filled with cardboard?

Here's one from Tony Hoagland that I like, from his latest book, Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty.

The Story of White People

After so long seeming right, as in
true, as in clean, as in smart,
being smart enough at least
not to be born some other color,

after so long being visitors
from the galaxy Caucasia,
now they are starting to seem a little

deficient, leached out, spent, colorless,
thin-blooded, indefinite--
as in being too far and too long
removed from the original source
of whiteness,

suffering from a slight amnesia
in the way that skim milk can barely
remember the cow

and this change in status is
mysterious, indifferent, and objective,
as in the beginning of winter
when the light shifts its angle of attention

from the mulberry to the cottonwood.
Just another change of season,
not that dramatic or perceptible,

but to all of us, it feels a little different.

So You Think You Can Dance

So I was watching So You Think You Can Dance last night, partly too lazy to change the channel and partly because I like it. But I need some dance person to explain contemporary dance to me. I hate it. It looks spastic and as if people are making mistakes all over the place (in general, sometimes I see cool stuff). And last night they had this piece that one of the choreographers did about his mother's battle with breast cancer. The judges loved it. I was cringing at how horrible it was. The aspect that I found most ridiculous was the lack of subtlety in the piece. The constant clutching of the breast so we all knew it was breast cancer that the dancer was struggling from, then there was the "breast cancer dancer" standing on the dancer who represented the son's feet so he could help her walk to signify him helping her through this.

Now I'm all for emotion in art. In fact, I am not a fan of art that is all about stimulating your brain, I want my heart strings tugged. But there is a fine line that you walk. You can't smack me in the face with the emotion. That's just melodrama. This piece lacked all subtlety. It was a made for tv movie. It was a soap opera.

Please artists, in whatever mode of expression you use, don't smack me in the face with your tears. Draw your tears out of me.

I started this post a a while ago and then my lunch break finished and I forgot to come back and post it. So here it is, a couple weeks late.

More on Flat Tires, Moron Flat Tires?

I saw the nail in the tire when I got to the top of 84 and took a little break at Alice's. I had a bad feeling about it right away. I've had a nail in my tire before. Sean spotted the last one while we were in Half Moon Bay one day. It was just a little bit of a shiny speck that shouldn't have been shining from the chalky black of my rear tire. That was a first and it freaked me out, but it wasn't losing any air so I drove it over the hill and had it repaired at the Honda/Suzuki dealership. It was relatively inexpensive to have it plugged and if I didn't like the price I could have gone somewhere else. The tire was rideable.

This time it wasn't a little roofing or drywall (or whatever) nail. This one still had a head on it. And it was an ugly looking puncture. The rubber of the tire was bulging around the nail like it was infected. But, given my previous experience, I figured the tire would hold air until I could take care of it on my terms. I was about to order tires anyway as my front looks ridiculous how it's worn all on the sides and looks like it has tons of rubber down the center. It looks like it's wearing a mohawk or something. Now I know it's a dual compound tire made for commuting and twisting, but you'd think that the tire would wear evenly because you spend more time straight up and down rather than leaned into a curve. Well, this one didn't wear evenly. And it seemed like it wore spontaneously. One day it looked fine, next day, mohawk.

So, yeah, I thought to myself, I'll just get home, pull the trigger on ordering the Pirelli's I've been wanting to try, and take it up to the MotoTireGuy in SF later in the week... Well I got down the hill, down 92, was heading off the freeway when everything got mushy. Freaked me out for a split second and then I realized what had happened. I pulled over to the side of the off ramp.

But here's the thing. What the hell do you do next? There's no spare on a motorcycle. And the traditional image of a tow truck hoisting up the front end of a car while the rear gets dragged along, painted a ridiculous picture in my head when it came to my motorcycle. Poor thing hanging off a hook. Of course a flat bed would have to pick it up, but crap. Here's where I started tallying the costs. Actually it was after I called the Honda/Suzuki dealership and they gave me the number of the tow co. they use, etc. that I started to tally the costs. My math is awful, and I can't estimate for crap, but even to me, this was not looking good.

Here's the part that I found weird and interesting. Bike get's picked up, get it to the dealership (closest place), they have a tire (same bridgestone i had on before which I'm not happy about, but what can you do), and then I proceed to wait around while the mechanic (72 year old guy, skinny and protruding as if his blue, oil stained shirt with his name stitched into the right breast, was merely covering a wire-hanger bent into a man shape) finished one job and started mine. During this time, one of the owners, who also is the service manager, keeps trying to engage me in conversations. Small talk mostly, but he gets interrupted every time a customer would stroll in. This only happened 3 times the hour and a half to two hours I was there. This place was pretty dead. And when it did happen, I'd take the opportunity to stroll out of earshot, take some iPhone pics of the place, etc.

Finally, I had to sit down for a while and the service manager guy starts talking about all the former customers that would come from New Jersey, Oregon, Bum Fuck, to his shop because he had done right by them. He repaired something for the New Jersians for free when they had their Goldwing shipped out here to ride it down to MotoGP, he rebuilt an engine for the navy boy from Oregon and held it for him while he was deployed for 6 months. All the decent acts for these people and I'd nod and say, "Oh wow," in all the appropriate places, but I kept thinking to myself, "Why is he telling me this?" One, he's lonely and needs to talk with people because his shop is the epitome of a sleepy one (they just need a basset hound snoring and farting on a rug by the door) and two, he needs me to think he's a good guy either for his low self-esteem, or so I don't go nuts when he hands me the outrageous bill because if he was so good to those other people, he must be doing right by me, right? Why would he do so much for free and then over-charge me? He must have to charge this much because the parts and labor really cost this much, right?

Bullshit. Someone said to me the other day that in these days of the internet, businesses have to be pretty honest because it's too easy to check up on them. I knew I was getting reemed for the price of the tire, and yeah, they could have given me a little break on labor as I go to them a lot now, but nooooo. Haha. Lesson learned.

I need to follow through with Alex's plan to have an emergency fund between us motorcyclers. At least four of us have the same bike. We could have a front and rear tire in our paddock ready for anyone stuck in an emergency situation. Someone needs it, they replace it after. Alex took it a step farther with a U-haul fund so we didn't have to pay a towing company. This too would be awesome because a U-Haul is like $20 a day and I know you can get them with lifts. Just not sure on the logistics of how you would get the truck, etc. Someone would have to not be busy. If we're all riding together, no problem. Anyway, I like this idea and want some more input on it.

That is all for this story. Guess I'm selling stock again this year to replenish my depleted emergency funds... Bummer.

Ginger Persecution

Don't dig the song too much and thought the video was kind of funny until they started killing my brethren. I know they're trying to say something about race and persecution, but the message gets garbled. The parallels I assume are supposed to be... well, see here is where I'm not positive. What are they trying to say?

Added warning, this is a pretty violent video. Not for kids on this one.

[vimeo 11219730]

Sirens, Flashing Lights and an American Twist

Were there cops everywhere yesterday or was it just me? Is that some foreshadowing for something that will come later in this post? Yes, it is. It was a beautiful day here on the San Francisco Peninsula. Sunny, warm, a little haze in the air that kept things nor-cal cool. I hear San Francisco was wrapped up in some miserable fog, but down here, perfect. So I jumped on the moto and headed into the hills. I may be just a little too comfortable along my favored route for a Friday, mid-morning. First, I illegally passed a bunch of tourists driving at about 10 mph just before one of my favorite set of twists on Skyline Blvd. The passing was illegal, but completely safe. It was on a straightaway with plenty of visibility. I just always feel cheated if I can't get into those turns without someone's brake lights in my face. Then, in a small straight section before the next set, I blasted past a guy on a Harley. And to digress slightly, when I first started riding my motorcycle I loved the concept of all motorcycles, but recently I have started to understand the Harley-hating crew. Not that I'm jumping on board there, but please, if there is a sport bike coming up behind you, move over and let us on our merry way. You like cruising slow, we like diving into twists. We can all get along. Well, except for your annoying pipes. That South Park Episode hits the nail on the head. My exhaust is a little louder than what comes out of the factory, but sweet jesus, those ear-cracking, filling-rattling, blat-blat-blatters that some of the Harley riders put together are just stupid. Oh, and please do then put a stereo mounted into that massive "shield" that I guess is supposed to be a wind screen and turn it up enough that you can actually hear it over your pipes. That's awesome. Especially since your taste in music is so educated and refined. The sonorous tones of Molly Hatchet screaming over the slapping farts of air ripping out of your exhaust are like dulcet harps singing me off to sleep. Okay, I know that's not everyone and there are plenty of idiots on sport-bikes, and I actually like the look of a lot of Harleys, but seems like the d-bags hang out on the same roads I do sometimes.

I get through that first set of turns and accelerate into a long piece of straight road. I don't know if I was looking in another direction or what, but all of a sudden there is a CHiPpy coming at me. I was probably going about 70 in a 55 (it may even be 50) and I was coming up on another line of cars (maybe I didn't see him mixed with those cars ahead). A saw him at the last second and when I looked in the rearview mirror I saw his break lights and then his roof lights up like the worst Christmas ever. My stomach sank, but I just kept riding along non-chalantly. I started a little chant in my head, "Please be pulling over to pick up debris, let it be debris." I kept riding a long. Slow. Behind about three cars in front of me. I kept looking in the mirror. "Let it be debris, let it be debris." Our little line of vehicles started to go through some curves. Still no lights speeding up behind me. "Let it be debris." More curves. "Be debris." We had definitely gone long enough to allow time for him to turn around and catch back up but I refused to get my hopes up. "Debris!" Cars started peeling off the road in front of me into driveways and side roads. Still no flashers. Eventually I was alone on the road and ticketless. Is my day of cops over?

The rest of this ride was relatively uneventful with the exception of all those beautiful twists along 84 and Pecadero Creek Road. I took Highway 1 back up to Half Moon Bay and 92. Like I said, beautiful day. When I got home I went and played tennis, split sets with Bob. I really need to play more tennis. I'm so wrecked after playing, but in a good way. Best exercise. I still end up using my American twist serve much to my un-warmed up back's chagrin. The wind had picked up a little, as it does in the afternoons, and that always makes for rough tennis, but it was still fun.

So, shower, eat and then go visit a friend of mine in Palo Alto. I ride my motorcycle everywhere mainly because finding a parking spot at our complex is a huge BITCH. So since I had one, I wasn't going to risk losing it. I take the moto. I can park that anywhere. Later last night I'm driving home, taking the scenic route up El Camino through Menlo Park (I never go down there since sis and family moved back to NY). I turned right at Menlo College to head to Marsh Road and the freeway. To be honest I actually thought the light was green when I did it. Apparently not. I notice lights in my mirror but just thought a car had followed me and that the red lights were the traffic signals that I just went under. I stopped at a stop sign, continued, and nearly shit my pants when the cops behind me used that weird blurpy siren/horn thing they have. I pulled over.

Well, luckily these guys were way cool and had both been motorcycle cops so were on my side and were admiring my bike through our whole interaction, asking about the mods I'd done, was it fuel injected or carbed (my little 2000 SV is, of course, carburetor). The cop said I rolled through the stop light which was generous of him since I basically didn't stop at all (like I said, I thought it was green, haha). He asked for my license and said if it all checked out he would just give me a written warning and I'd be on my way. It all did and I was. I consider that a milestone though. First time I was pulled over on my bike and I'm hugely thankful that the first time wasn't earlier in the day when I was speeding. And as a side note, I always wondered about my integrated tail-light, turn signal thing and how legal it was and if I'd ever get a ticket for it. While the one cop was running my license, the other scoured my bike pretty well with his flashlight, looking at every little detail. They didn't say one word about the taillight. I had also shut it down so they could definitely see the blue lens. Maybe they just missed it, maybe it's not as illegal as I thought.

Yes I actually took this picture yesterday, just so happens I love this little spot and my bike always looks so sexy there. I sat down by the creek there and read some and wrote some and also recorded the creek for your enjoyment.

[audio http://dhsorrell.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/creek.mp3]

Blue Pills

They're just Claritin, but the little blue pills were catching the light in such a cool way. They look like little alien eggs or, because of the “C10” on them, a government podding or cloning experiment. They look very sci-fi which makes me feel like I’m taking some future drug or future meal. No more eating. Just pop this pill and you get all the nutrition and fiber you need. Take this pill and you can fly short distances. It’s the commuter’s choice for short burst flying. Just take one C10 and you’ll be at the office in no time. Or. Take this C10 and play football like the pros do. C10 instantly enhance your abilities to that of a pro football player of your choice. You can choose a player playing now or even from the past. Want Broadway Joe’s arm? Pop the C10 Joe Namath edition. You’ll be firing huge hail marys down field almost immediately.  Of course, your knees won’t be worth a shit.

Also posted on Four States

So I'm going to try wordpress...

As you can see by how gorgeous it has looked, I've been posting my blog using iWeb's blog page. It's fine, but there are some things I would like to be able to do that I can't with iWeb. Mainly, I have to be at my computer to post. So here starts my blog, "a sunny corner," on Wordpress. I will keep the old posts up over on iWeb so when you're feeling retro you can go check them out, but all new stuff should be appearing here.

Things to look forward to... more posts. I figure since I'll even be able to post from my phone or just about anywhere, I will post more. Maybe I won't, but I hope I will. It will be the standard David Sorrell stuff, writing, photos, music, opinions, rants, farts, and peanut butter. I'll try to give you a little of each in the next few days. Thanks for stopping by... San Diego.