Thursday, May 26, 2016

I rode a bike!!!

So, another post without video, because the video is 102MB and Blogger sucks and won't allow more than 100MB.

It's been a hectic four days; my sleep schedule is completely backwards, so I've been here all night every night since Sunday.

I RODE A BIKE!!! For those who are new to Jonny friggin' Panic... I never learned how to ride. I can build, tune and repair bicycles with ease, but never learned to ride; every prior attempt was met with mayhem and injury. BUT my fellow PS1 members have sworn up and down that they'd love to help, and so they did on Tuesday night! The downside: coaster brakes are a pain. PS1 has a "shop bike" people can borrow as needed, and we used that but it has a coaster brake... the idea was for me to put my right foot on the right pedal and just scooter around using my left foot to push, to get a feel for the bike. Before long, though, I was wondering why the bike was so hard to move, and then I realized the coaster brake had been engaged by my movements. Then a car came down the alley and, without thinking, I put both feet on the pedals and took it a good twenty feet to get out of the way!

And then I did it again!

I was going to practice more last night, but this weather is ludicrous... the sun will peek out and then we get thunderstorms. BUT Jennie says she has a junk bike and a bunch of spare parts (and, apparently, a gift for finding junked bikes), so she's gonna bring that in and, if I can fix it, I can have it! In return, because I'm good with bikes, extremely bored and here regularly in the middle of the night, I told folks if they need bikes worked on, just bring them in and I'll see what I can do. Coz, apparently, I think I'm the friggin' Shoemaker Elf of Bicycles or something. But hey, it'd give me something to do!

I've decided to resurrect World's End Chronicles, my fiction-fragment blog... I tend to write character introductions and various scenarios, but have trouble tying them together, so I just write what I can think of and post it, then worry about linkage later. There is a tiny bit of new material... including a character introduction that draws from my time in the bottle... and an essay about the death of Robin Williams that you can read or skip as you see fit; I adored him and cried when he died, so I'm leaving it.

Last night was CAJOO, our music night, and it's starting to come together a bit. Some of us had the idea of prepping a playlist of songs that might come up, and that really helped. There was more singing (I may post a video or bit of audio later) and Andy was able to hear the song, break it down into recognizable basics for our various instruments and give everyone some direction. It was fun and quite productive, and I felt comfortable enough singing to really put some soul into it. Folks seemed to enjoy it, and Adriana and I covered Johnny and June Carter Cash's "Jackson" for laughs.

I've had some interesting conversations with folks that keep me acutely aware of just how pervasive sexism and misogyny is even in intellectual, technological and educational fields. A Buzzfeed article I read a couple years back sprang to mind recently and it reminds me that fearing the divisive "he-said she-said" rumor mill is absolutely secondary to getting eyes on predators... especially in intellectual circles. Big vocabularies, misdirection, and large social followings do not excuse predatory, devaluing behavior. You are only as good as the company you keep, so if your friends are willingly siding with your predators... they are not your friends. Be noisy, get them noticed!

If you have to make war... make war.

I think the true noobs among us in the Power Racing Series are going to build a "junk car" to get a feel for the process. The idea is to use anything we can scrape together for free... Jennie already has a couple of electric motors that need testing and possible repair, but she and I both are having trouble envisioning the physics and engineering design influences in play from just reading material. If you want to donate anything to help us get this done, please do so! What we build may not make it into the Series, but we're doing it just to screw it up and learn from it.

Anyways, I'm heading home for the day, and then back here for whatever else happens.

Be excellent to each other!
Jonny friggin' Panic

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