Thursday, June 9, 2011

Notes from the Wallet

I'm working on my second year without a cell phone.  It's rad.  If you want to own your world drop that cellphone on the street then run over it a few times.  For good measure, and in memoriam, pour a bit of your 40 over the electronic components.

A vacation without a cell phone is better than regular every day without a cellphone.

Don't lie.  You're always thinking about what you should be doing with it.  Is there someone to call?  Is someone about to text?  I better check in at work.  I wonder what the market's doing today.  Take the red pill, Neo.

So I'm on vacation thinking about population growth, developing world urbanization, floods, droughts, fertilizers, and I wonder:  Are we about to realize the exotic nature of pure cotton?  Lab fibers have been around since the 40's or so with the invention of Nylon.  Created by combining acids and alcohols, the controllable nature of synthetic fibers should make corporations integrate more of these fibers into their products, and possibility, bring synthetic production into their own shops.

So then I'm thinking, holy shit dude, they've already got these kids wearing "skinny leg" jeans with stretch fibers.  Those people in marketing are geniuses.

I imagine the conversation goes something like this:

Clothing CEO:  Ideas People!  We need to cut down on cotton because it's getting expensive.
Marketing:  Let's make the pants smaller.
Clothing CEO:  Good, what else?
Marketing:  Let's also put chemical fibers in them and market them as stretchy.
Clothing CEO:  Fucking brilliant, but won't that make everyone, including twiggy dudes, look like they have saddlebags?
Marketing:  We'll reference Europe alot.
Clothing CEO:  You're getting a raise.

And it occurs to me what a bitch it must be to be in marketing.  The transience of brand, the cowing of an entire populace.  But marketing is so well entrenched, you don't even realize it's happening to you until you go Gallagher on your cellphone.

I was watching some HD Net with a bloody mary circa 630 am.  That is an enjoyable experience if you've never tried it.  It's always nice to have a head start on big family events, especially if drinking around the kids is, er, frowned upon.  Anyway, they were playing travel shows of Western Ireland, the Isles of Greece, the lesser traveled villages of coastal Italy, and I think the Central part of Norway.  They weren't the PBS kind where Rick Steves beats your brains out with fun facts from inside the pub, these are helicopter pass overs with a pleasant, yet strikingly baritone voiced lady tossing the skinny on what you see.

I always consider the guy sitting at the table in front of the bistro.  Does he have as sweet a life as it looks like he should from the helicopter views?

Anyway, after those travel shows comes one about style in Paris.  For your consideration, a quote from a well known architect:

The worst part of my job is doing my job.  Seeing clients, making models.  Whenever I have something that I can't figure out I go to sleep.  When I wake up, POOF, the answer is there.  To me, to be successful is to be happy.  I must have a nice girlfriend, eat good fish, drink nice wine.  This is what matters.

I did a lot of fishing.  For all the work people put into buying expensive stuff, I get a yuk out of thinking about the Native First Americans with their sinews of buffalo and bone hooks.  Recently I have deployed one tackle with tidy rewards:  2 pieces of canned corn on a number 5 hook with a decent line weight about 8 to 12 inches above the eye.  If you want catfish go sans bobber.

We were near the end of a canoe trip on the day before heading home.  One of the other guys points atop the majestic bluff and talks about what a great trip capper that would be.  He's got a shade under a liter of Crown Royal in various stages of digestion, but I never grew out of the jumping off of high stuff phase.  After some consultation with the locals, it turns out that you can get up there.  Apparently the trip involves "shimmying" and the jump spot is on the order of 65 to 70 feet above the water's surface.

All canoes and kayaks are parked on the sandy beach at this point and there is lore about some dude supposedly ripping his taint open from jumping earlier that day.  Fucking locals and their ghost stories.  I know I'm going, but these other guys aren't looking so brave as I swim the 200 feet or so over to the landing area to inspect water depth.  12 to 16 feet, I'm in.  If by shimmying those yokels meant scaling a 20 foot rock face with an 18 inch crack in it, then shimmying is what I did.  I'm not sure if it's the fact that there was no going back after that rock climb, or that I just had that much resolve before heading up, but there was a pleasant relaxation in the air walking across that bluff.  According to Mythbusters, a normal sized dude hitting the water from 75 feet hits with an impact of about 29 g's.  But the best part wasn't the view, the jump, or the successful landing.

Thank you to the men and women who gave their lives in battle for our causes.