Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.

busses and building managers / July 15, 2005

Right on schedule, my building manager was fired today. Third one we’ve been through since I moved in here. They have a warranty only good for 2 years. At which point they’re not even serviceable. You just throw them out right away or they’ll begin to smell. Interesting timing though… since our assistant manager is due to take next month off. I sense bad things emanating from the future.
As if a premonition of todays events, I was attacked by a bus yesterday. Sitting at the bus stop in Bethesda, one of the Ride-On busses came down the highway. And the door fell off. Like that, stopping about 4 feet from me. Traveling at about 40 miles an hour, the bus continued on and ran over the door. And… kept going. Never stopped. Never came back. And there in the highway sat a bus door, in several pieces, surrounded by the traffic which had screeched to a stop around it. And we all just sort of looked at. The cars eventually moved on, and I pulled the pieces onto the sidewalk. Much as it would look really cool to see a car shred its undercarriage by hitting a giant metal frame and 4 foot long slab of glass at highway speeds… I just didn’t want to have to administer CPR. Yuppies have diseases, you know.
So, Keir, maybe the busses are working for the squirrels?
I so need a DVD burner, for backing up by photos, if nothing else. I had over 4,000 pictures in iPhoto, and burned 9 CDs just to get the archive back down under 2 gigabytes. I love my new camera. But bigger toys have bigger issues. Huge photos also mean it takes forever to copy the files off the camera using the USB cable. (An hour and a half for 200 shots). But today I found a brand-name firewire CF card reader for only 11 bucks. So I got that going for me.
So I was thinking today. And that’s always a well-known novel experience for me. Thinking about this work stuff I do. I’ve elaborated before on how much I love the control it offers. How much freedom I now have. How I now contribute, rather than leeching from the system. But as fundamental as it should have been, it never really occurred to me until this afternoon how much I like the creative part of it all. Many people go into business for themselves. Most frequently, it has to do with selling something, followed closely by offering your experience and advice in trade. But I actually create new things. Each jobs involves creating something brand new, that’s never existed before.To me, thats an incredibly fulfilling thing to be doing for a living.
So I was talking to Tonto the other day, while we walked. Earlier in the day, I had been thinking, for god knows what reason, about oral history. The method by which knowledge and history were passed along, person to person, by stories and repetitive telling. But that all kind of died out with the advent of television. Without going into the evils of TV in particular, it is true that people started spending less time together creating life, and more time in their own little world, observing a fantasy. What really struck me though, was how ‘blogs and journals are gradually starting to resurrect the idea of an oral history, albeit in written form. Message boards and journals are offering up technical answers. Memory archives hold the shared histories of families and groups. Individuals work through their past, and what it’s made of their present, right there in front of your eyes. It’s staggering, to imagine the sheer volume of memory that is online, now. And a little scary, in that so much of it tends to reside in single places, making it susceptible to loss. If the California is wiped out, the thoughts and stories of 10 million people may be lost. But the NBC homepage will be fine, thanks to colocation.
“boobies!”
(It still makes me smile.)

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