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Originally from: Fredonia
Currently residing in: Fredonia, NY
I've been on arkansasrockers since October 23, 2002
Last updated on Aug 2, 2020 at 4:49PM

In General

I lived in Fayetteville for three and a half years while I got my Masters at the University of Arkansas. And one of those years I even lived on a farm.

Locking the taskbar.

Email me, stalker: vertisdead at gmail dot com

Thanks, Clay.


Yeah, I’ve been thinking about the same thing with how do we swing people back to something that at least resembles sanity when they go off the rails on a crazy train?

The thing about all these people who believe in the baby eater conspiracy is that twenty years ago they were the ones telling you not to believe anything on this new fangled entity called the internet. Look at them now.

I watched some basketball on Friday night. The Rockets rallied for an overtime win against the Mavericks.

I was up early on Saturday. I gave skateboarding a go at the park. It was not happening. I couldn’t get into it and struggled to land anything. I think I forgot that I don’t like skating on Saturdays. A young dad and his little son showed up. We kept our distance. He was teaching him how to roll around. It was nice to see somebody else at the park, even though we didn’t talk beyond saying hello and goodbye.

I went for a walk at the college once I got done skateboarding. It was cloudy with rain threatening so I figured I might as well get some more fresh air given that I was already sweaty. I took a quick nap and cleaned a little in the afternoon. There was off and on rain the rest of the day. I had dinner with my parents. We had hamburgers. My dad got a new vacuum cleaner during the week so I gave that a test run. I played some guitar and watched music videos on YouTube for a while.

I decided to grab a beer on the way home. There was nobody at the convenience store as I was driving by. I wish I hadn’t done that. I only had one while watching basketball. I was feeling a tad crappy on Sunday and it was from the beer. Back to being straight edge from here on out.

I did the shopping this morning and went back to bed. Getting to the store was a complete pain. I always cut through the college and the blacktop company was painting new lines for all the crosswalks and parking spaces. I went at just the right time as to get stuck on campus with what they blocked off so I had to go back around and take a different route to the store. It set the tone for the day. I eventually woke up and finished the housework. I pushed up and down the street on my skateboard. I wasn’t really in the mood to skate and it has been looking like it will downpour at any given second. It’s super windy, too.

I did manage to draw for a half hour in the afternoon. I’m going to finish the page tonight.

The landlords are headed back to Belgium on Tuesday. They are leaving for Buffalo tomorrow. I talked to Mike for a bit this afternoon while he was building a stained glass window. They will have to quarantine for two weeks once they get back to Brussels. I never stopped over to see them at all. I’d chat with them here and there outside. The month went by so fast.

The Royals were swept in a three game series by the White Sox. They dropped a close game on Friday, 3-2. Kris Bubic took the loss in his major league debut. He gave up a three run shot to Chicago’s Adam Engel that decided the game. Bubic allowed three hits in four innings with three strikeouts and a walk. Ryan McBroom was 2 for 4 with a double and a solo home run. Salvador Perez was 3 for 4 with a RBI. Nicky Lopez was 1 for 3 with a run scored. Kansas City was blown out late on Saturday, 11-5. It was a 7-4 game until Glenn Sparkman gave up four runs in the top of the 9th. Sparkman allowed four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Starter Roland Bolaños was the losing pitcher. He surrendered five runs on five hits in 1 2/3. Whit Merrifield was 3 for 5 with a two run homer. Ryan O’Hearn was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Adalberto Mondesi was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a double. For Sunday, the White Sox won big, 9-2. Chicago had a seven run 7th to take control. Jakob Junis allowed two runs on six hits in 4 1/3. The bullpen couldn’t preserve the game and Scott Barlow was the losing pitcher. Alex Gordon was 1 for 3 with a solo home run. Perez was 2 for 4 and played first base. Lopez was 1 for 2 with a double and the team’s other run batted in. The Royals are off to Chicago to play the Cubs for their next series.

July 31, 2020

I guess work was OK for the week. I sure had plenty to do. I kind of space out on things at times. It’s tough to focus on the creative process. I’m lucky most of my design work is fairly straight forward. Although I am trying to be more creative since much of what we do falls under the boring functional design category.

I have been watching all the baseball I can. I seldom pick on broadcasters, but a few of the combos on ESPN are bad. I caught the Lakers vs. Clippers game last night. That was an exciting game. It still feels wrong to have sports back given how poorly the country is handling the plague.

I have not done any drawing. I always say maybe this weekend. Maybe this weekend.

Skateboarding has been happening right along. I’ve been rolling in the driveway. I’m still getting used to my new ledge. I probably should have built it an inch lower. It’s hard to figure out where to put it and then to get the speed right. Some nights are more fun than others. I need to set up a new deck. The replacement showed up today so I’ve got two in stock. I might do that tomorrow or Sunday. Who knows? I’m not in a rush to do anything.

I’ve been on a hot streak with seeing nature lately. There’s a vole that lives in the front yard. Four Great Egrets flew over tonight. They are neat looking large white birds. I’d perhaps never seen one before. There are toads aplenty, too.

I had some adventures in shopping. I wound up going to Walmart on Monday morning at 7:30 AM before work. The store wasn’t stocked great, but it was good enough for everything I had on my list. There was nobody there so you could wander around more like you used to be able to. This might be my new choice to for those rare Walmart trips. They made some attempt at remodeling at the beginning of the year and I don’t know if they are done with it yet. Everybody says it is impossible to find anything, but everything is mostly in the same spots. I also was up early to go to Tops on Wednesday morning. I ran out of lunch meat somehow. Tops is always fine, especially early in the morning so that went smoothly. I got donuts, too.

The Royals split a four game series against the Tigers this week. On Monday, they demolished Detroit, 14-6. Kansas City had to rally from a 5-1 deficit after two before taking over the game. Maikel Franco was 3 for 5 with four RBI and two homers. Whit Merrifield was 3 for 5 with a homer, a double, and three RBI. Jorge Soler was 1 for 4 with a two run shot. Foster Griffin picked up the win and the bullpen limited Detroit to one run in the last seven innings. The Royals lost on Tuesday, 4-3. All the runs for both teams were scored in the 3rd. Merrifield was 1 for 4 with a three run homer. Tyler Zuber took the loss in relief. He gave up three runs on two home runs in an inning. The bullpen was good otherwise. Detroit came out on top for Wednesday, 5-4. Danny Duffy struck out eight and gave up four runs in five. Ian Kennedy suffered the loss in relief by yielding a homer to Detroit’s JaCoby Jones. Franco was 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI. Adalberto Mondesi was 1 for 4 with a triple and a run. Merrifield was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs. For Thurday, KC tamed the Tigers, 5-3. Alex Gordon was 3 for 4 with a double and two runs. Mondesi was 3 for 4 with a run. Bubba Starling was 1 for 1 with a two run double. Brady Singer gave up two runs on five hits in five. Greg Holland picked up the win in relief. Trevor Rosenthal notched his first save. The Royals probably play the White Sox this weekend.

July 26, 2020

After skateboarding on Friday night, I did nothing. I took a shower and crashed out watching TV. I was tired.

I was up early on Saturday and went skateboarding at the park. It was not happening at all. I pieced together a couple of tricks and gave up. I spent the rest of the day cleaning at my place and for my parents. I went over to see Dave and Mary at night. They had a small campfire in their backyard to get rid of a bunch of downed tree limbs. We stayed outside and sat around that for an hour or so. I had my first beer since March. It was OK. I’d been wanting one and I figured this was a good time to have a Rolling Rock. It was nice sitting outdoors and talking to some friends. Fredonia is a zany town. I forgot all the weird stuff that goes on since I’ve been avoiding everything. I watched the Padres beat the Diamondbacks when I got home before falling asleep.

I was up even earlier on Sunday. I did my grocery shopping. The store was a little hit or miss on having stuff in stock. I’ll probably have to make a Walmart trip in the next week or two. I decided to go back to the park to skateboard once I got the groceries put away. Things were a little better this time around. I checked off a bunch of tricks and got out before one of the lurker kids from the birthday parties in the park wandered over. I used the rest of the day to finish the housework and take a quick nap. I watched the Yankees beat the Nationals, too.

The goals for the evening are to take a quick walk and draw at least a little.

The one beer was nice. I proved I can take an extended break, but I’m not sure what to do next. I think the ultimate goal is to be a social drinker, have one or maybe two every so often, and be done with it. I’m going back to not drinking, though.

The Royals dropped two out of three games to the Indians. They lost on Friday, 2-0. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber struck out 14 over six with no runs allowed to keep Kansas City off the scoreboard. Whit Merrifield was 1 for 3 with a stolen base. Sal Perez was 1 for 4. Danny Duffy was the losing pitcher. Duffy gave up two runs on three hits in 4 1/3. He had two strikeouts and no walks. Tyler Zuber made his major league debut in relief with two scoreless innings. For Saturday, the Royals won in 10, 3-2. Maikel Franco drove home Brett Phillips in the top of the 10th to put KC up. Greg Holland struck out the side to preserve the win. Scott Barlow picked up the win. Starter Brady Singer surrendered two runs on three hits in five innings. Singer had seven strikeouts. Cleveland crushed them on Sunday, 9-2. A bevy of Royals pitchers gave up the nine runs on 13 hits. Ronald Bolaños was saddled with the loss. Adalberto Mondesi was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored. First baseman Maikel Franco was 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.

July 24, 2020

The weeks all seem the same. It all blurs together.

I think I’m spending too much time in front of a computer screen. I’m usually good about balancing it, but I find myself sitting on my ass too much lately. At least I’ve identified the problem and will be making a point to get up to move around more.

The printshop was fairly busy this week. It was a bit hectic at times. I think I had to go on a delivery on Monday. At least it was to the pet food factory and they are on point with plague safety procedures. Today was mellow enough. We’ve been having more stuff to print with film so that’s good. It is an easy way for me to get up and move around. I’m still avoiding everybody as much as possible.

The boss made chili dogs for lunch on Wednesday in honor of National Hot Dog Day.

I skateboarded every day in the driveway this week, except for Wednesday. It rained right when I was getting ready to skate. It did dry out later so I got in a few ollies in the street. I’ve skated my new ledge a couple times. I’m still getting used to the thing. Perhaps I should have built it one inch lower. I think it is fine. I goofed around for a while tonight. It did not come together. I don’t know if I was tired or something. Just wasn’t happening. There is this family with a little kid who wanted to watch me skateboard tonight. They’ve been going around for walks most nights. I landed a couple tricks for him so I guess that was bright spot on the day.

I stopped by to talk to my landlord’s on Thursday. It was Lori’s birthday and they were out on the porch for dinner. Her parents came down from Buffalo. I stayed outside and not for long. Her parents are nice. I should have a porch beer with them at some point since they head back to Belgium in about ten days.

I’ve got a bunch of adult stuff to take care of. My car could use new tires and it needs to go in for an oil change. The stereo needs to be fixed, too. I have yet to even try to track down a new dentist. Maybe I’ll get the ball rolling on all this for Monday. I should at least deal with the car.

I haven’t drank in well over five months. I do want to keep the straight edge thing going. I am going to allow myself a beer or two max with the landlords at some point soon. I feel like I could use one.

My friend Aimee wants to come visit from Pittsburgh for a day or two in August. She’s looking at going camping with her son in Erie and wants to stop here for a night. I’d like to see her. I’m also kind of scared about interacting with other people. I haven’t kept up to date on how Pennsylvania is doing with virus control. I sort of hope she changes her mind. Ugh.

The Royals lost all three preseason games this week. They dropped a pair to the Astros and then fell in St. Louis on Wednesday. Kansas City starts the season in Cleveland tonight. I feel so lukewarm on the return of sports. If the country was trending in the right direction in handling COVID-19, I think sports would be justified. But we aren’t. Too many people are getting sick and dying with our medical services stretched past the breaking point. I’m going to watch the games, but I feel we need to dial back our excitement a lot, especially the networks. The Mets channel seems to have the right balance of enthusiasm and taking matters seriously, probably because they were in the epicenter of where everything hit first.

July 19, 2020

The weather this weekend was toasty. There was a thunderstorm to cool things down some in the afternoon today.

I stayed up too late on Friday night watching TV and music videos on YouTube. I miss when MTV showed videos. I know we can watch anything we want at any time now, but it was cooler when it was beyond your control.

I was up early on Saturday. I went skateboarding at the park for an hour in the morning. As I said earlier, it was hot so I did what I could and got out of there. A couple picnics were setting up in the park by the skatepark so I wanted to avoid any demon children who wandered over. I had a solid hour so I felt good about myself.

I stopped at the thrift store on the way home. It was the first time in there since who knows when. I was hoping for a ton of cool stuff on the racks since everybody cleaned out their houses during the quarantine. No dice. I grabbed a couple t-shirts and got out. Too many people weren’t wearing masks correctly so I didn’t feel comfortable sticking around.

I took a nap and cleaned some for the rest of the day. I watched the Mets vs. Yankees game and fell asleep.

For Sunday, I got up early to do the grocery shopping. The store wasn’t too crowded and they had plenty of paper products. I didn’t need any, but it was good to see. I went for a walk at the college when I got back. I was contemplating going to the park to skateboard, but decided to go with the walk instead. There weren’t many people out so this was a good idea. I’ve been spending too much time indoors lately. The fresh air was a solid head cleaner. I’ve spent the rest of the day cleaning. It has been taking forever. The rain has come back for the evening. I’ll probably watch the Mets vs. Yankees game tonight and maybe draw a little. I pushed around in the street on my skateboard for a minute so I got that in. I kind of wished I tried to skate more.

July 17, 2020

I successfully navigated the work week. Monday was on the slow side and then it picked up the rest of the days. It looks like we are getting a couple bigger orders from some larger local companies so that is good. It also seems like we are creeping back to a 40 hour work week. I’ve gotten used to 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. I’ve still been getting paid for 40 hours since they have been taking it out of the huge mass of vacation time I have accumulated. I should ask how much I have left, although I just acquired some more time since I added another year of working there. I hate asking about anything ever for anywhere so I always say nothing. I’m going to start going in a little earlier next week. After 13 years of getting up at 7:00 AM, sleeping in until 8:00 AM has been amazing.

We opened the front office up to customers like how it used to be. We had been forcing them to stay in our tiny entry way. I think there is still a limit of two. They have to wear masks. I’ve been avoiding everything and staying in my office as much as humanly possible. There are now a huge number of people under stay at home orders in my county. It is still a very low number of active cases.

I got my ledge built. I skated it on Wednesday and today. It rained on Thursday. That was the first day I hadn’t skated since May 15th. It rained that day, too. The ledge is nice. It still needs to get broken in. That will take a few sessions. I had a decent time rolling this afternoon. It was hot out and I landed enough. I figure I’ll try to hit up the park in morning for Saturday. I really hope nobody is around.

I went for a walk at the college a few days this week. There have not been too many people out at night so that makes it easier. Last night’s attempt was rained out.

For entertainment, I watch the Mets channel. I’ll flip the TV on at 10:30 PM for Baseball Night in NY and then their version of Sports Center, which is called Sports Nite. I’ll fall asleep on the couch after that. It’s looking like there will be a baseball season of some sort. I’d feel better about that if the country was collectively doing better with controlling the plague.

July 13, 2020

Weekends are peculiar now. They don’t feel like time off. The work week feels a little more relaxing for some reason. The printshop is still doing 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM hours so I get to sleep in until 8:00 AM five days a week. I hide in my office as much as possible. I get up at or before 7:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll get whatever errands I have to do done and avoid everything for the rest of the day. During the week, I don’t have to go anywhere except the drive thru at the bank and maybe grab a soda at the corner store if nobody else is there.

I’ve been going to the skatepark early on Saturdays and Sundays if the weather is permitting. There was rain early on Saturday, then it dried up before pouring all day. I took a chance that the park would be dry enough and went at 9:00 AM. Some of the ramps were wet, but I got in some tricks. It felt good for once because I wasn’t worried about anyone else showing up due to weather. I cruised around for an hour. This was the first time I had been there with the new wheels I put on a week ago. It was nice.

In other skateboard news, I got some wood to build a new ledge for the driveway on Thursday. I started the construction on Friday night and did more on Sunday. It’s probably a couple days away from being done. I’m going slowly with it because I don’t want to screw up. I also don’t enjoy working with wood. I’ll be happy when it is done, but I am no fan of the process. I stopped after work on Friday to get some thicker plywood at a lumberyard on the way home from work. Friday night was kind of like a high school night. I was listening to the radio and doing something with skateboarding.

For the rest of a rainy Saturday, I cleaned and did a little drawing. I dealt with laundry, too. My parents have a bunch of rabbits in their yard this year. There was another tiny little baby one that has been hiding under the deck on the back porch.

Sunday was sunny and dry. I did the grocery shopping. I probably could have gone to the park to skateboard, but I was worn out. I took a long nap. I got a call from my mom at lunchtime saying they were locked out of the house. I had to run my keys up to them. We discovered that we were all missing a number of keys. Every door has a storm door and they always lock everything. We got it sorted out. I was not motivated at all for the day. Nothing felt right. I forced myself to finish off the cleaning and get stuff ready for Monday. I only pushed around in the street for skateboarding. I watched a skateboard video and some ESPN before going to bed.

July 10, 2020

There’s a heatwave going on. I don’t mind the hot weather so I am fine, but it is getting toasty out there. Buffalo is setting a new record for most days of 90˚ F in a row.

Work was really busy from Monday to Thursday. Today has been kind of quiet. I figure I’ll do some cleaning and file backups shortly to fill out the afternoon.

Skateboarding has happened every day, even with the heat. I’ve been skating the driveway in the evenings instead of late afternoon. I kept it really mellow yesterday. I did pretty good for me on Wednesday and landed a couple tricks I hadn’t done in a while. I got some wood at Home Depot yesterday so I will be building a new ledge this weekend. I have to stop at a different lumber store on the way home from work today. I got the wrong thickness of plywood by accident since they didn’t have the right size.

I’ve been watching whatever the Mets channel is showing later in the evening. I’ve been trying to catch some of The Basketball Tournament, but I’ve had a tough time finding out when the games are on. It’s usually when I’m at work. ESPN has really dropped the ball with by not showing Korean baseball on tape delay in prime time. At this point I don’t think pro sports in the US should be going ahead with restarting. If things were generally going well with plague control, I’d be OK with them playing again, but that is not the case.

I haven’t drawn anything all week. Here’s hoping I find some time over the weekend.

I don’t think I’ve gotten any new music at all in the last week or so. I know I’ve got a couple things on order, but shipping is slow these days. I like the idea of reinvestigating my record collection a bit, too.

I think it is supposed to rain on Saturday. I’m not sure what all I’m going to be doing. I sort of want to do nothing. I’d like to skateboard at the park at least one morning. I don’t know. This shit is getting to me.

July 5, 2020

The holiday weekend nears its close.

I was up super early on Friday. I went to Walmart. I purchased everything on my shopping list so that was good. I stocked up on liquid soap, which was the big thing. Too many people were not wearing masks so I’m going back to curbside pickup whenever I eventually need something from there. I also got a couple groceries on the way home. I went skateboarding for about an hour at the skatepark. It was OK enough. A scooter child showed up with his mom as I was about done so I figured that was the sign to leave. I did some cleaning and took it easy for the day. I stayed up a little later watching skateboard videos.

I did nothing on Saturday. I slept in. Or rather got up and slept in to a Korean baseball game. I knocked off a bunch of the cleaning. I even mopped. I went for a drive out to Westfield for the sake of something to do. I headed over to my parents in the afternoon. I washed some laundry and cleaned something for them. I decided to do a little driveway skateboarding in the evening. It was too weird skating in shorts. I folded laundry and listened to records the rest of the night. There were so many fucking fireworks. The air was thick with gunpowder smoke. It was awful. Somehow I slept through any late night explosions.

It was a typical Sunday. I went shopping for food and then hit up the skatepark. One other kid showed up after I had been there a few minutes. I didn’t even see him walking up on the drive in. It was like he teleported there or something. The kid skates often and talks a lot. I chatted a bit, but kept my distance. I didn’t stick around too long and did just enough for it to count as skateboarding. I’m slowly getting used to the park again. I put new wheels on my board when I got home. The old ones were more worn out than I thought. I finished off the cleaning and took a nap. I might go for a walk tonight. It’s back to work tomorrow.

I don’t think the weekend was mentally very relaxing.

July 2, 2020

This was a fast week. It’s also somehow July.

If there is a floating holiday that could go either on Friday or Monday, do it on Monday. Nobody likes Monday anyway. We were swamped at work and decided to take tomorrow off, which is what you are theoretically supposed to do for a Saturday holiday. It would have been so less hectic if we opted for Monday. There was so much rush stuff for businesses that need social distancing signage for the 4th and anniversary/graduation items. There was at least one prayer card for a funeral. I guess they had to close out the books for the year, too. I don’t do that part so I’m not 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure. Messy. They were on board with my suggestion, too. Next time around.

I did my driveway skateboarding. It’s been hot. Luckily, the driveway has shade in the later part of the afternoon. I’m good with the heat. I’d prefer to be at the skatepark on the lake in evening, but what are ya gonna do these days? I skated good enough for me on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday was awful. It felt like I’d never rolled before. I don’t think I got warmed up correctly. Today was better. I think I’m going to build a new ledge. I’ve been figuring this out in my head what I want and I think I’m getting some wood soon. I’ll have to check if Home Depot delivers so I don’t have to go to the store. Too many non-mask wearing bumblefucks at that place from what I hear.

I’ve gotten a walk in most nights this week. I skipped last night. It’s been hit or miss. There’s plenty of room at the college, but people don’t watch where they are going. It’s like they’ve never been outside before ever. It sucks.

The landlords did make it home from Belgium for the summer. They are isolating in their front half of the house, which is ultimately where they want to be. I will stop by at some point since they have a porch, but it will be a couple of weeks.

My plan is to get up super early to go to Walmart tomorrow. I need general household supplies. I haven’t been there since April so that is awesome. If I do it right, I might not have to go back for another couple of months. I’ll probably go skateboard at the park in the morning, too. Dunkirk gets weird as is on the 4th and I imagine this year will be even worse. It’s creepy in the world right now.

I think I might try to draw a little tonight and deal with housework.

June 28, 2020

I think we got everything done at work over the week. We finished up the graduation program and diplomas for the high school. I did systematically take down the pile of stuff I had to do. It was a tad rough. Friday wound up being mellow for me. I tidied up around my office. I still need to do some file organizing. I had to go out into the world on deliveries. One was to drop off receipts at an insurance company and then get trays from the post office. Luckily nobody was at the post office.

My dentist passed away on Wednesday. He was 79. I’ve never gone to anybody else. I was suppose to get my teeth cleaned at the end of April, but that was cancelled. It was about a month early so I didn’t mind. I have no clue what to do next. I guess wait a little bit and figure out a new dentist to go to.

I set up a new board on Wednesday night. The old one was beat and I didn’t care for it very much. This was a smart choice. It’s taken a little bit to get used to since it is from a different company than what I usually ride. I thought both brands used the same wood shop, but these boards are not similar. I skated the driveway on Thursday and Friday. I only pushed around in the street on Saturday. I needed a day off and it was sort of rainy much of the day. I went to the park this morning. It was not going on for me at all. The three months off from the park has changed how I skate and it isn’t for the better.

I’ve kept it kind of mellow for the weekend. I slowly did the cleaning at my place and for my parents. Tops was messy this morning. It didn’t look like the cleaning crew did a good job overnight and stock was low on some things. There were a few more shoppers because people were getting stuff for graduation parties. Of course there were fucking idiots not wearing masks correctly. The mask doesn’t work if you leave your nose uncovered. At least they are wearing masks. I wish you could mock them mercilessly as if it was still middle school.

I did draw for a while on Saturday and go for a walk at night. My CD player started skipping on a brand new CD so I busted out my old Maxell head cleaner. That appears to have fixed the problem. I’m going to try to get in a walk this evening, too.

It was my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. I maybe should have organized something for them, but it’s probably better I didn’t with the plague and all. My uncle sent them flowers. We had spaghetti for dinner.

I don’t think I got any new music this week, other than Evicshen’s Hair Birth CD. That was the one that wouldn’t play. It’s harsh noise by a woman named Victoria Shen. Get it? I’ve got a couple records on order.

June 23, 2020

We got swamped at work already this week. Dunkirk is doing an outside graduation on Saturday. They want the programs for tomorrow instead of the usual Friday. I got another pile of stuff to do that I haven’t begun to deal with. At least the program is done.

There have been heavy thunderstorms after work each day. I’ve fit in a little street skateboarding the last two nights. I needed the days off. I have done a little more drawing, too.

June 20, 2020

I started breaking in a new pair of shoes for skateboarding. The old ones had holes that couldn’t be filled with duct tape. I got another pair of the Billy Marks Patriot model from Fallen. They are a weird mustard yellow color. I decided I’m only wearing odd colors this year. The break-in was about two weeks last time during winter. I’m guessing it will be about the same for these. The shoes are super comfortable. The upper gets shredded kind of quickly, but holds up pretty well. I almost feel bad about skating in them since they weren’t cheap. Maybe I’ll grab another pair as chillers. I am not a shoe collector and keep it to a minimum of what I wear on a daily basis.

I’ve done the driveway skateboarding thing every day this week, although some days more than others. I was totally worn out on Wednesday or Thursday so I didn’t try very hard. My dad sealed the blacktop on the apron and the neighbors got a new pool so there was limited space to put the cars in the street. I lost a day with that.

I hit up the park this early morning. It was hot and sunny. Nobody was around. It looked like a few people had been there on Friday night by the handful of empty beer cans. I carefully put those in the trash and then blasted my hands with hand sanitizer. Skating was OK. I did a bunch of good to decent heelflips. I’m having to readjust to the park after spending three months away from the place. I used to go there nearly every day it was nice out or at the least wasn’t snowing too much. I’m old and not very coordinated so I need to do this every day or else I get rusty. I also think I don’t exactly love the variety of ramps at the park. The place is awesome for my little town, but it isn’t quite what I prefer to skate, all things considered. Aging factors into this a bit, I’m sure. One other problem is that I don’t really know what I like to skate on any more. I’m not complaining, simply pondering and coming to terms with growing old.

I will say that I brought back a couple of odd little tricks from skating the little curb/box in the driveway that I didn’t think I still had. This makes me wonder what else is still left in the tank.

I need to set up a new board soon. I might need new wheels and bearings, but I’m unsure on that at the moment. I keep a good stockpile of gear so that’s never a problem. The goal is get the shoes comfortable and then set up a new deck next weekend.

Work has been jamming this week. There’s a whole bunch of graduation related stuff for me to do. The next five days are going to be full. With more places open, we are picking up more printing.

I’ve gotten in a walk nearly every night this week. It’s been so warm out. It still sucks that a lot of people simply don’t watch where they are going or ride by too close on their bikes. I keep an eye on who else is out and make sure to swing wide or take a different route. It’d be nice if others did the same.

I think it is my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary next weekend, but I’m not positive. I never remember the date and I’m clueless on the year.

I’m maybe going to try to draw tonight and crash out early. I get more sleep during the week than on the weekends on account of getting up early to shop and skateboard.

I’ve been keeping up with new music even in the plague age. These are some of my current favorites:

Noveller - Arrow - Ba Da Bing
Pauline Oliveros & Alan Courtis - Telematic Concert - Spleencoffin
Bill Nace - Both - Drag City
C. Lavender - Myth Of Equilibrium - Editions Mego
TALsounds - Acquiesce - NNA Tapes
Auscultation - III - 100% Silk
White Poppy - Paradise Gardens - Not Not Fun
Container - Scramblers - Alter
Windy & Carl - Allegiance & Conviction - Kranky

June 14, 2020

My mom was a secretary and she knows shorthand, too. I totally remember the notebooks she had. Do they even still teach that?

I take in what I can of the news. Obviously, I check the links on Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo!, but it gets to be too much to take in. For every positive story, there is a negative story. I generally get my news from the paper because there aren’t any comments in the print edition. I watch the local news from Buffalo. I don’t mess with any of the national TV stuff.

It sort of feels like maybe things are getting better at a snail’s pace. I don’t know. I like the peaceful feeling when you wake up in the morning before you remember all that is going on in the world.

I think we were busy at work during the week. I had things to do. I have to square away the graduation program for Dunkirk next week. The school decided to have some type of outdoor ceremony. As businesses reopen and restrictions on gatherings are eased, people are starting to order more printing. We’re getting invitations again. I’m getting burned out on lawn signs for seniors and warning signs.

It’s been cooler with a lot of sun and a strong breeze.

I got skateboarding at the park both Saturday and Sunday morning. It felt like average, I guess. I’m getting old. After three months off from the skatepark, I realize I don’t super love the variety of terrain at the place. I don’t even know what I like to skate on any longer.

Anyway, I hit a rock and slammed on my hip really good right off the bat to start the day, too. I always am very careful and check for rocks, but I missed this one. I kept skating until my hip got a little sore and I gave up. Everything feels fine. I imagine a nice bruise will show up in a day or two.

I did all my cleaning and went to the grocery store. Things seem to be going smoothly, except for the shitty old white men who don’t get how to wear masks. Fuck them.

I am enjoying the break from live sports. If we were only dealing with plague, I’d say they should make games happen again soon, but with the protests, we’ve got more important things to deal with. ESPN is letting us down by not showing replays of Korean baseball in the evenings. I woke up early on Saturday and relocated to the couch to catch an end of a game.

June 9, 2020

I guess work has been about normal. It’s a little slow for me at times, but there is stuff to do, especially with more businesses reopening.

I went to the park to skateboard on Sunday morning. It was the first time I’d skated there since March. I’ve driven by it a few times for something to do when it was raining. I pushed around for about 35 minutes. I believe it is open, although the city might not give a crap one way or the other. Playgrounds and basketball courts are still shut, but tennis and golf are back. I figure skateboarding is closer to golf than basketball. Nobody was at the park, which is the usual for early in the mornings. I was a tad rusty on the ramps, but otherwise it was good. It looks like maybe some people have been skating it, but maybe not too much. Everything could have used a little wax. I caught a glimpse of a bald eagle flying by.

Weekends are weird. They’ve gotten better. I get up earlier so I can do the shopping. When the plague first started, going to the grocery store was scary. They’ve since gotten everything in order so I feel fine going to there. I’m still careful, but it feels safe. I’ll go to the convenience store by my apartment for a newspaper, bread, and a soda on Saturday mornings just to support them. They haven’t had the Jamestown paper for the last four weeks so I’m thinking they quit carrying it. I was probably the only person who was buying them anyway. You do get the shitty old white dudes not wearing masks sometimes, but I think you’re getting less of those now. Those are the only two places I’ll go. I do the cleaning at my apartment and take a walk. Walking sucks because there are so many shitty people who aren’t watching where they are going. It removes the stress relieving benefits of walking.

The big thing I’m worried about in my county is how stupid people are. Our confirmed/active cases are low. Like really low. However, the number of people who are under quarantine at home orders because they think they have it or might have been exposed to it keeps growing. Even correctly assuming a few of those might be airing on the side of caution or have something else, it’s still a lot of people for a small area. Our hospitals could not remotely handle a major outbreak of anything. My major concern is that those people are not staying at home because they aren’t. I’ve heard of first hand reports of confirmed cases going out in public without a care in the world. Fuck them.

I think my parents are starting to go out more places now that reopening is happening. I don’t like that and I need to mention to not go out unless it is necessary. I know they are being careful, but still.

June 3, 2020

I’ve been so worn out over everything. The plague and the race riots grind your soul down.

Work has been this odd kind of busy, too. We bumped our hours up from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM to 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We simply didn’t have enough time to get everything done. This is good. Although I’ve been having a tough time focusing on getting work done simply from all that is going on. We’ve been getting some weird projects that we wouldn’t normally be doing so it gets difficult to figure the stuff out. It sucks. Maybe we get a new president in a few months and things will start to get some version of better.

I basically took Tuesday off from skateboarding. I skated a while on Saturday and a little bit on Sunday. I vacuumed both cars for my parents that day so that wore me out a tad. My feet weren’t feeling it on Monday. I only skated for twenty minutes or so after I finished work today, but it felt good and relieved some of my stress. It’s been warm and windy all day. It’s looking like it could rain, but it hasn’t. I guess Buffalo got a very bad thunderstorm yesterday.

I think I’ve taken a walk at the college each of the last few days. I skipped Sunday. It’s been hit or miss. Too many people wandering around like they have never been outside before in their life. They don’t watch where they are going. I get why you take a phone with you when you go out, but put that shit away and pay attention to the world. I’ll probably go later tonight.

I watched a Knicks/Pistons first round NBA Playoff Game from 1992 last night. NY closed out the series, 3-2. I knew the names of all the players still. Not sure if that is good or bad. It was neat to have the NBA on NBC again for an evening.

I’ve also been making myself draw at least a couple minutes before work every day. For somebody who has made next to no art the last few years, I’ve got a bunch of art supplies in my apartment. I decided I’m going to organize them a bit and determine which Micron Pens are out of ink.

May 30, 2020

All right, I successfully navigated another week. The day off on Monday was much needed. I don’t recall doing much and that was fine. The weather got hot before cooling down and raining for Thursday and Friday. Saturday has been cooler and cloudy, but it never rained.

The day job has been fairly busy the last few days. I haven’t been overwhelmed with things to do, but it has been a steady pace. We got takeout food on Friday for lunch from Pizza Village. This was the first time since the end of February that I have eaten food from a restaurant. I had a chicken finger sub.

I’ve gotten in a walk every day. I like going later at night to the college now. There’s less people and it is either warmer or not raining so that helps. I went this afternoon once I finished up the cleaning since I figured I could use a little fresh air.

I’ve been skateboarding in the driveway still every day after work for at least a little bit. If it’s rainy, I’ll push around in the street for a few minutes before work. I skated for a while this afternoon and it was fun. I miss the park, but what are ya going to do?

The Mets channel has been having daily talk shows with their baseball broadcasters and reporters. They are kind of a fun thing to watch. Watching the 1986 World Series was interesting. They are showing the 2015 playoff run. I doubt they will show the World Series, but I’ll be watching it if they do. I watched a feel good special on assorted New York/New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, too.

May 24, 2020

Yes, I am here. The site came back magically in February. Everybody who updated then has not updated since. John Mark made a Slack channel. Only a handful of people use that, but it gets regular updates. I’ve stuck with this out of habit. Although I only post once a week. Been meaning to type up a week in review.

I am tired and getting ready to fall asleep to Game Six of the 1986 World Series.

Let’s see here. It’s the holiday weekend. I finally get an extra day of rest. Thank you armed service members who gave their all for the country. Your efforts are much appreciated.

Work was full this past week. We finished off printing about 150 banners for the seniors at Dunkirk. They are hanging on the fence by the school’s football field. I really hope they don’t get fucked up somehow. I was mentally out of it after that project and luckily I could kind of chill for a day or so. Friday was a normal pre-plague type of work day. We are still on reduced hours, but it’s not strict any more. If there’s stuff to do, you can stay until you get it done. I’ve been using the last bit of the day to wipe down and clean my office, even though nobody uses it besides me.

My part of New York has started to reopen. This is scarier than the shutdown. Fingers crossed it goes well.

It’s been kind of rainy and warm. The sun has popped out both days this weekend thus far. I did the driveway skateboard thing yesterday, but I was not into it. I pushed around in the street for a couple of minutes this afternoon. It felt good to be out in the warm weather. I somehow stepped in mud and got it all over my griptape so that stunk.

I did my usual stroll around the college campus after buying groceries. There were a lot of people walking when I went to the store, but it had thinned out to the regulars when I went walking so the fresh air was beneficial for stress relief.

I’ve been really into watching the Mets’ 1986 playoff run. I’ve caught most of the games before zonking out to Game Six last night. I think they are showing the last one tonight. I’ve been hoping to catch some more Korean Baseball except it keeps being on at weird times. I get up earlier on weekends to go shop than I do on weekdays.

I always am ordering records and it has felt weird not getting anything in the mail. I did get a few very things in April and have gotten a bunch more in May. I’ve done a couple digital only purchases from the labels I regularly buy tapes from. I haven’t seen an issue of Thrasher since March. They’ve been updating their website somewhat without giving much away so who knows when they will be back in print. I did get an issue of ArtForum. I’m not sure how many they missed, probably at least one.

May 16, 2020

The work was jamming this week. We are printing banners for each senior at Dunkirk. There have been a lot of yard signs, too. Next looks to have more of the same. It is a tad stressful.

My skateboard and parts showed up on Monday. By contrast the records I ordered from North Carolina the previous Thursday also got here on Monday. I did get in skateboarding each day this week except for a rainy Friday. I did not mind a day off. Things were dry in the evenings so I got my walk in at the college, too. Nobody was around so that was good. There were too damn many people out this morning who were not paying attention to where they were going. It should be graduation this weekend, but the town is empty.

I’ve been watching the Mets vs. Astros 1986 NLCS the past few nights. It is an interesting thing to see. The differences between sports in the 80s and now are slightly jarring. I am kind of liking the older games better. There is less of everything.

I got a good chunk of the weekly cleaning done today. I still have laundry, more cleaning, and groceries to cross of the to-do list.

May 9, 2020

It was cold and snowy the last couple days. I’ve gotten in a walk each day. I saw a pair of bluebirds at the college this morning. I’ve fit in a little street skateboarding between the snowflakes.

Today is my birthday. The skateboard deck and parts I ordered were delayed in shipping from Rochester somehow. Given that the city is two hours away and the order shipped on Wednesday, it should not have taken this long. I had dinner with my parents. Otherwise, I did a little cleaning and took it easy. Not really all that much to do anyway.

I am listening to records and going to crash out early. I’ve got to go for groceries in the morning and finish up the cleaning.

The fake Royals blanked the fake Twins in the Strat-O-Matic fake baseball season, 3-0. Jorge Lopez struck out ten and Jorge Soler hit another homer. The Royals are actually good in this version of MLB. I’ll take it.

May 8, 2020

Work was jamming for the week, I suppose. I’ve designed so many lawn signs for graduating seniors and a few birthday banners. Paying customers are paying customers so I can’t complain, but I could for a little variety. Oh, well.

I set up a new board last Saturday. Skateboarding has happened nearly every day over the week. I’ve been more excited about it some days than others. My new board was much needed. I swear Polar uses two different wood shops depending on how the decks are finished. The ones with full paint feel heavier than the ones with exposed wood grain. It’s the oddest thing and I can’t tell if it is all in my head. The new board sure feels lighter than the old one.

I’ve been falling asleep to whatever sports talk of game replay is on in the evening. I’ll only watch the local news at 6:00 PM. Otherwise, I stick to reading the paper for news on the plague. It makes it easier to digest.

I’ve been trying to draw more. After twenty years of working on a need it now deadline, my own creative process moves as slow as molasses. I dug up some old sketches I did in Arkansas in 1999 or 2000. A bunch I used for etchings at the time, but I photocopied a few I didn’t use and I’m going to redraw them. They are all rather rough, yet also interesting.

I really hope it rains today.

May 1, 2020

Work has been fairly busy this week. We’re doing reduced hours so we are only open from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. It’s actually been a little tough for me to get everything done in the day. I’ve come to appreciate the extra time we had for the purpose of thinking about how to do stuff. I’m not complaining. I’m taking things one day at a time and not getting too optimistic or pessimistic on anything.

The weather has been sort of seasonable the past week. The sun had been out and it has been warmer. A rainy cold front did move in on Thursday. I’ve gotten in skateboarding nearly every day. I miss the skatepark, but I’m making do with what I’ve got. It’s about time to set up a new board. I’m not sure if it will dry up for later today.

Yesterday’s rain moved through the area by 8:00 PM so I went for my usual walk. Nobody else was out, which made for an enjoyable stroll. I’ve been slacking on walking lately. I don’t feel like running into clueless walkers.

Generally, people are wearing face masks and keeping their distance. There are still a lot of crappy old white dudes that aren’t. The neighbors of my parents keep having people over on Saturday nights. The neighbor on my street still has his game night where they play some stupid Dungeons & Dragons game. I went to Walmart for a curbside pickup on Monday afternoon. By the amount of traffic, you would never know anything is wrong with the world. Shit is weird.

It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow. I printed out a couple of bird pictures I took in the yard many years ago and framed them. I don’t have many shopping options for gifts and I didn’t feel like ordering anything. I spent enough money in April and want to chill on buying stuff.

I have been buying a digital download or two each week to support whatever noise label I can think of. It’s odd not getting tapes and records in the mail any longer. I’ve got one big order from 100% Silk and Not Not Fun that I imagine will show up sooner or later. I figure they’ll ship everything in one box so they don’t have to go out as much. My record wish list is getting really short. Oddly, I feel OK with that. Like I said, shit is weird.

It’s May. I always make that observation when the calendar changes to a new month.

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