What Are You Doing, Dave?

I’m not sure where I’m going with this.  By this, I mean life in general.  I’ve embarked on some projects recently that have yielded some positive results,  but nothing that has made me say, “Aha!” and certainly nothing that would make me want to listen to A-ha.  Am I making any sense here and does it really matter? After, no less a genius than Charlie Sheen has already shown us that coherency is so 2010.

Ah yes, 2010.  I was writing quite a bit back then.  I convinced myself of my literary pretensions while knocking out stories about zombies, murder, upskirt voyeurism, and retards.  Yes, retards.  It wasn’t the kind of feel-good story where somebody with a learning disability tried extra hard  and achieved a measure of greatness, or at least managed to sew a wallet in arts-and-crafts class in retard camp for his case worker Bill.  No, this is a tale where I shamelessly make fun of people with learning disabilities.  Actually, I dedicated 6000 words to the subject.  In my defense, the story was pretty funny provided you can get past the fact that the author is an insensitive asshole.

There are other stories in the queue, unwritten except for a few words jotted down in my spiral notebook.  In none of them am I so crass as to make fun of those dealt a bad hand at birth.  Instead, I stick to my time-tested themes: alcoholism, revenge fantasies, and loss of bowel control.  I do plan on writing these stories.  I really do.  Some of them at least.  At some point.  Maybe.

I have been busy, sort of.  I bought this neato linux box.  Actually, it was a Windows 7 box before I wiped the stink of Redmond from its hard disk and installed a real operating system.  I named it ralphus, in honor of Sardu’s plucky and diminuitive assistant in Bloodsucking Freaks.  I was so proud.

Granted, getting a linux machine up and running these days is no great accomplishment.  This isn’t like the old days when you could only expect the OS to work with the monitor, the keyboard, and if you were lucky, the mouse.  Sound cards were at best iffy and most peripherals were out of the quesiton. Not so with the latest Ubuntu linux. The webcam, external storage, and a lot other fun stuff that plugged into a USB port

The scanner didn’t work with it, but that was mostly because it was five years old.  Most software for linux, and especially stuff like device drivers, is developed by volunteers in the open-source community.  These people are awesome, no doubt about that.  However, their time is limited so you can’t expect them to make everything work seamlessly with yesterday’s hardware.  I dropped about 80 bucks on a new scanner and gave the old one to a friend.

That paved the way for at least one of my projects.  A friend of mine (coincidentally the same one who now owns my old scanner) came into possession of a number of old Car & Drivermagazines from the 60s and 70s with articles written by my father.  I’ve been scanning his work in the magazines and checking out various OCR software with the eventual goal of setting up some sort of online tribute to him.  I’m not a gearhead personally but I do like my dad’s writing and think it merits being shared.  This may run afoul some copyright law, but screw the bastards.  I’m not doing this for profit and I am his son.  I think I’m entitled to be proud of my old man.

Don’t expect to see his work here on Poison Spur. I have a little more respect than that.  Its eventual home will be on platypus.org.

That site needs a serious overhaul.  It has not been updated since 2001 and can be accurately described as a cobwebbed lump of shit.  Fortunately I have a project for that as well.  I’ve installed drupal on ralphus and have been playing around with it during those evenings I spend away from the bar.  Once I know what I’m doing and let trial and error eventually make up for my lack of design sense, platypus dot org will be a presentable site with Dad’s tribute page and other nifty features.

My dance card is getting mighty full. So where does that leave Poison Spur?  It will continue, I promise you that.  New entries may appear sporadically, but I know in my heart of hearts that I am a showoff.  I can’t quit forever.  If people stopped telling me I’m cute and clever, I’d probably dry up and blow away.

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