Apparently 2014 Didn’t Get The Memo…

…that it was supposed to be better than 2013.

Two weeks ago the mother-in-law finally put money down on an apartment, for a scheduled move out today. She and Ben even went out and bought a bed and sofa (since she has no furniture of her own at this point).

But of course—like always happens when she’s on the verge of finally getting her act together and out of our house—she blew it.

I’ll spare you all the ugly details, but suffice to say she’s back in the psych ward again after another failed suicide attempt yesterday afternoon.

While the future is anything but certain at this point, on Monday Ben is going to court to get custody, and once she’s out of lockup, she’s going into rehab. The one thing that is certain is that she’s not coming back here. We’re both done with this bullshit.

It’s Only a Matter of Time

The rumor mill has been abuzz about the expected iPhone 6 supposedly coming out sometime this later year. Personally I don’t care about these rumors one way or another because I learned long ago that the majority of them are complete bullshit—as exciting and inspiring as they may be. I only need to look back a couple years before the introduction of the iPhone 5 to see images of “radical” redesign. My favorite was a wedge-shaped phone similar in design to the MacBook Air:

 I was sorely disappointed when that did not come to pass. So I have no faith in any of the admittedly beautifully rendered speculations on what the next phone will look like. It is what it is, and we’ll all see it when the time comes.

One thing I am hoping for is a 128GB capacity option—and that’s for one reason only: music.

My iTunes library is currently hovering around 100GB and I would love to have any of it available on a whim, instead of having to manually shuffle songs in and out of my current phone. Apple hasn’t updated the iPod classic (160GB) in years, so a device of any kind with this capacity is overdue.

Of course with their current focus on the cloud, I’m sure they’re simply hoping that those of us with huge music collections will just subscribe to iTunes Match and have all our music stream.

All well and good, except I (and I suppose many others) have hundreds of songs that aren’t available in iTunes; songs lovingly ripped and edited from the original vinyl. Plus, why should I have to pay again for access to things I already own?

Anyhow, that’s not really the thrust of this post. “It’s only a matter of time” refers to the eventual day that Apple puts out a much-rumored “iPad Pro,” a device that will finally be able to replace the average person’s laptop in its entirety. 256GB flash storage? Why stop there? Let’s go for 512GB or 1TB. I know it’s not economically (or physically practical) to create this kind of device today that will be as thin and light as the current iPad, but a few years out? We’ll all be laughing at the ancient relics with “only” 128GB of internal flash storage.

It’s said that the majority of people—even those of us who own an iPad in addition to a laptop—have not given up on our laptops completely is that while consuming content from a tablet is its primary attraction, it’s still much easier to create content on a laptop (or full-blown desktop) than it is on an iPad…although, again, I’m sure it’s just going to be a matter of time until the available software tools and hassle-free connections to multiple external monitors also make that a moot point.

Obviously, this won’t happen overnight. Nor do I expect laptops to be abandoned in 2, 3, or even 5 years down the road. But a decade from now? I fully expect the dominant platform will be tablets in one form or another.


If you’re tired of hearing me complain about Denver, you should probably just move on, because when I wrote this last night, I’d had a very bad day and was in a foul mood.  Instead of hitting the publish button right away, I decided to let it percolate overnight and give it 24 hours to see if anything I wrote was merely the product of the day I’d had.

It wasn’t.

So you’ve been warned. Proceed at your own risk.

When that day finally comes and we are leaving Denver for the last time, I can say without any reservation whatsoever, that I will not be shedding a single tear.

When I left San Francisco back in 2002, there was sadness, but I also knew it was time to go. I still hold many, many fond memories and friendships forged during the sixteen years I lived there, and will always treasure the time I spent in The City.

And if I hadn’t left SF, I never would’ve met Ben. So there’s that.

But the same can not be said of the godforsaken hellhole we now call home. Granted, over the past three years, there have been brief periods of happiness (usually only in response to acquiring some new toy or last year when Ben and I got married) and there was an initial sense of elation at escaping the Arizona summers, but on the whole, that deep-seated happiness, that joie de vivre, has been absent from my life. In many ways, last two and a half years has been nothing more than one disappointment after another and at times it feels like a daily battle to simply keep the demons of full blown depression at bay.

And that’s not even taking into account the last fourteen months with the drug addict living in the guest room.

There is nothing about being here that I will miss after we leave, and I am reasonably certain that when looking back upon it I will refer to this period of my life as “Five years in Hell.” There are no fond memories of this place aside from simply having spent it with Ben, and no real friends to prompt a return visit at any point. When the truck is packed and we are heading down I-25, my parting gesture to this city will be a rigid upturned middle finger from both hands.

Since there was some major reorganization happening and my department pretty much scattered to the four winds during the year after I left Phoenix, I can’t say with any certainty that I’d still be working for that particular employer had we stayed, but if we did I’d be making $12K a year more than I am here—and paying half of what I am in rent, both of which are constant, unwelcome reminders of what I sacrificed—albeit willingly, and by conscious  choice—to go on this adventure.

The two jobs I’ve had in Denver, both taken out of desperation (the first because I’d run out of money after we moved here and the second because after 3 months of contracting I simply didn’t want to face being out of work again and having to interview) were both unwilling to pay the average salary that every payroll survey in the country says I should be making in this location. At least in Phoenix I was being paid what my skills and experience were worth.

And the weather? Yeah, the summers in the Valley were getting to be a pain, but at least you knew when to expect them to begin and end. Arizona doesn’t follow daylight savings time, but the old schedule (April thru October) at least corresponded pretty closely to the time you turned the air conditioning on and off there. In Denver, the weather is completely off the rails, and the only two months where there is absolutely no snowfall on record are July and August. Two fucking months. Even Arizona’s heat didn’t screw you over like that, and when it was done for the year, you knew it. Not so in the Mile High City. I’m getting very tired of seeing “clear and sunny” as the forecast for the next five days, washing the car and then waking up the next day to see that 3-4 inches of fucking snow had come out of nowhere overnight. I might as well just feed fifteen dollars into a shredder for all the satisfaction I get from a car wash.

And speaking of high, I’m convinced pretty much most of this city is stoned out of their minds—if only when they get behind the wheel, because no one seems to know where the fuck they’re going until they’re a half second away from making their turnoff. Or they aren’t paying attention. Or maybe it’s because there is no logic whatsoever to the way streets are laid out here—forcing people to make the asinine moves that have become a regular and expected part of my commute—or timing of stop lights, or the fact that street names seem to change on a whim as you go from one point to another. I’m rapidly reaching the point where I simply don’t want to go anywhere any more because I can’t deal with the stupid that invariably crosses my path within two or three minutes of leaving the house.

I know I’m not the best driver, and if anything I’m overly cautious at times, but MY GOD, at least I follow the rules of the road that were taught me in Driver’s Ed. I don’t remember drivers in Phoenix—or even the Bay Area being as horrible as they are here!

There are four things the majority of people driving in Denver seemingly have absolutely no understanding of:

  1. Stop Signs
  2. Speed Limits
  3. Solid Painted Lines on the Pavement
  4. Proper following distance

Stop signs? They don’t even attempt rolling stops here. People just regularly blow through them; a tap of the brake lights if you’re lucky. I’m honestly surprised there aren’t more collisions.

Speed limits? It’s either 20 miles an hour under, or 20 miles an hour over whatever the sign says.

Solid lines? IT MEANS DO NOT CROSS OVER, ASSHOLES. You see that traffic on the freeway is slowing down? Cut across three lanes and half of the gore point to get off and exit because it’s all about YOU.

Following distance? Forget the three second rule. Denver drivers don’t even follow a one second rule. Leaving enough room between yourself and the car in front to stop in an emergency is an open invitation for some asshole to force his way in because his lane is going too slow.

Denver has dual lane metered freeway onramps, like many municipalities. But unlike Phoenix, where the stop light alternates from one lane to the other, in Denver they both get the green light at the same time, so it’s an instant race to see who gets merged into traffic first because it’s all about MEEEEEEEE!

And with each passing day it’s more and more obvious that traffic engineers in Denver don’t want to facilitate the flow of traffic; they want to impede it as much as possible. Why else would one stop light turn green—and just as you start moving, the next light—half a block away—turn red? Why is there no consistency anywhere with left turn signals? Some are before the light in both directions, some are after. Some are before the light in only one direction, while others are after.  IT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE.

The only positive thing I have to say about Denver is that we’ll be leaving in approximately two years. And believe me, I’m counting down the days. The only reason we’re still here is so Ben can fulfill his obligations to the Denver Teacher Residency program and get about $17K worth of student loans paid for, no small chunk of change and something I would never disallow him.

Quote of the Day

“So, by any objective standard, Dems who actually want to win should be wading into the GOP, wielding Obamacare (and twenty other issues) like Samson leveling Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.” ~ driftglass

Oh Sah-NAP!

“Listen, Shapiro, you little prick, gay people have been crushed into the dirt, beaten and murdered, shamed and fired, denied housing and the common good of our own country, used by pro politicians and political HACKS like yourself for way too long now. We’re fighting back and fuck you for your wordy little efforts to stop us.

“It’s YOU and yours who use the worst kind of violence against us. Gays don’t beat up straight people on dark streets in the dead of night. We don’t tie them to fences to freeze to death after beating them unconscious. We don’t go home with straight people and slit their throats after having sex them. We don’t FEAR straight people so we don’t have to do those things. We’re going to take advantage of your fears and use them against you. And we’ll use our own laws against you — and that’s the one thing you hate more than us. LAWS. No more hiding for us. You go live in the shadows now. Our truth will win out.

“What’s your beef with gay people anyway, you and your kind? Why do you revel in putting us down? Is it because your tiny little dick gets all bothered by gay boys? Where does your homo-hate and homo-negativity come from? Is it from the dark and secret closet you live in? Come out and play, sweet boy. I’m sure somewhere there’s a man willing to make use of that big, fucking mouth of yours.” ~ JMG Commenter Blackfork in response to this.

I Had Every Intention

…this evening of going out and doing some night photography. I even got the camera and tripod out. Then I looked at the temperature and the wind chill and said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Oh well. Maybe this summer.

This Does Not Surprise Me


San Francisco has always—or at least for the last three decades—been an extremely expensive place to live. Yes, the wages are correspondingly higher in most careers in the Bay Area, but I still suffered no small amount of culture shock when I relocated there in 1986 and ended up spending twice what I’d been paying in Tucson for less square footage. Still, newly drunk on the fact that we were in fact actually living in San Francisco, we laughed at the $300 sweaters at Macys and often joked, “Who would pay $2700 for an apartment, even if it was on Russian Hill?” I guess now that figure is the going average for even the less desirable areas of town.

When I left the City in 2002, I was paying $1300 a month for a one bedroom apartment in a rent-controlled 50s-era building on Upper Market. Even then I thought it was a ridiculous amount to pay to live in a building where the elevator had been out of service going on six months. (The owner was Diane Feinstein’s next door neighbor, so there was no lack of funds to get it fixed.)

Of course, Ben and I are now paying more than that for a 2 bedroom place in Denver. How times change.