Going for the gold

I’m in China (again)! I really don’t know how many times I’ve been here and I wish there was some way to look up your passport information and find out where you’ve been through the years. Yes, I know that your passport is full of little stamps that tell you exactly where and when you’ve been…but if your passport looks anything like mine, it’s an unintelligible mess of smudged stamps, overlapping stamps, stamps where the ink pad must have been dry, stamps where the entry visa is 20 pages away from the exit and you’re not sure if they go together, etc.

I’m fairly sure that, especially if including Hong Kong, I’ve been to this region at least 30 times…maybe more. If you expand the net even further and include Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, and Thailand it’s probably approaching 50…in the 40’s at a minimum.

The point is, I’ve been to Asia a lot.

Like a lot a lot.

But for all those times I’ve been out here, most of the time it’s been for work; which is an entirely different animal to coming out for fun. For one thing, I’m almost never going to tourist areas. I’m going to the REAL China… the China the China Board of Tourism doesn’t really want you to see. The China with the poverty looked down upon by 5-star Western style business hotels. The China that those other western road warriors know very well and have a gentlemen’s agreement to just kinda not really talk that much about back home save for the couple of crazy stories to share with the normies at parties.

It’s an uneasy truce.

One beautiful thing that travel gives you, even when traveling for work like this, is perspective. I always leave these trips appreciating what I have and marveling at the resilience of others. Being more open minded to other perspectives, and taking a moment to breathe and reflect.

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App wars!

You know that thing where Twitter was cool and then it sucked and then Threads was cool and now it’s boring? I feel like that’s all trauma-bonding, because Threads is actually great and only seems boring because it lacks the drama of Twitter. But the drama of Twitter (oh. Sorry, I mean “X”) is the problem with it in the first place! And, more importantly, remember when we didn’t even have social media and we could instead be stressed out with meeting up with actual people and doing actual things??

This rant brought to you by angst.

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Echoes in the aether

I’ve had this blog for over 20 years.


I’ve had this blog for over TWENTY YEARS!

It would be more impressive if I’d made entries every day instead of letting months (years?) go by without checking in; the achievement instead being more the financial stability to keep the $8/month going for so long. I don’t want to calculate how much this site has cost me over it’s life, or do the calculus of whether or not it’s been worth it. I think it has. I think it’s been worth it.

Back in long ago days, when this was an original Blogger blog, sincerely one of the first on the fledgling platform (I’m sure there were already thousands of blogs by the time I got into it in January of 2001 [Blogger started in August of 1999], but it wasn’t really popular after it’s first year and I was getting in on the ground floor), I had a few readers. My girlfriend at the time, Meg of Mightgirl.com fame, a couple of real life friends, more internet friends that I met through chat rooms (I think… the memory fades), and then some random people here and there. I probably had dozens or maybe up to a hundred visitors daily. Very very minor league numbers but they were actual people, actually reading what I pinged out into the great open expanse of the internet.

I used to make self-deprecating statements about how no one reads my blog and I just do it for my own amusement… which was partially true, but not really accurate, was it? People did actually read it. Not a lot of them. Not enough to make any appreciable difference in my content… but there were live eyeballs taking in data that I was creating.

Now, though, it really is no one. At least I think so. The last comment (from an internet friend I’ve never actually met) was from 2013. My updates have been few and far between, and more often than not they’re much like this one. “Can you believe how long I’ve had this blog?” “I should post more” “Crazy how this is still here, amIright??”. You know the drill.

So now that it really IS no one it feels very much like talking to myself without knowing what I’m going to say. It’s a weird feeling. I’m going to hit post on this and send this message in a bottle out into the still empty internet (for the internet is so vast, it shall always be empty regardless of how much we throw into it), and that will fill me with…what? Accomplishment? Resignation? A little dopamine hit thinking that osmeone might read it? I don’t know. It’s all just echoes in the aether…

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I should do the thing

You know what, though? I like writing and I miss doing it more often. I like a lot of things that I wish I did more often, truth be told. Writing being one of them, going to shows being another, laughing with friends, taking pictures, traveling. That’s not to say I don’t do those things, because I actually do all of them… I just wish I did them MORE. “And why don’t I?” I outwardly say inwardly to myself. I dunno. I really should just do the thing because life is achingly, surprisingly, tragically short. Do the thing. DO IT. It’s just a matter of priority, I tell myself; and it takes more than just a bumper sticker that says “Prioritize You”. What that bumper sticker should also say, in subscript of greater font size than the superscript, in bold and free of parenthesis. What that bumper sticker should also say, or more correctly primarily say to the point of just outright omitting the absolutely unnecessary first statement of “Prioritize You” because of course you should, that’s what we’re all here reading this bumper sticker down even and at eye level with the curb for. What that bumper sticker SHOULD say, and will say once I get a hold of my printing guy, is “DE-prioritize the other shit”.

Because that’s the real trick.

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wait, did you say 22 YEARS??

I have had this blog for 22 years. I have had this blog long enough for a baby born on the same day I started this thing to have grown up, graduated high school, taken a gap year backpacking around Europe, had his or her first kiss uncommonly late in life, gone to college, dropped out, fallen in love, broken up, become a NFT millionaire,fallen in love again, lost their fortune in the most recent crypto crash, and broken up again.

I really hope he or she is doing ok!

22 years. That’s just frankly obnoxious and I wonder why I keep it. I know why I tell myself I keep it: I have a list of the books I’ve read on here and use this to keep track. Never mind that I also have a Good Reads account and have since brought that list up to date, that’s hardly the point get off my back!

I also tell myself that I keep it because I host my main email through the same domain. Which I know how to transfer to another host so it’s really not a good reason and yet here we are.

Maybe it’s so I can scribble these kinds of stream of consciousness missives that no one reads every 8-12 months or so. Maybe. I don’t know. I wonder when I’ll post again?

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it’s a deluge of posting!

In a stunning display of intense creative motivation, I am posting again… though this is really more of a postscript. For the spambots that follow me, I’ve been working on re-designing my photography site. It’s not done, needs speed enhancements, probably is rife with spelling errors, but by gawd, it’s up! It also has a link for buying photo prints, should you be interested. My joke has been that only my mom and myself will actually buy a print… but even my mom hasn’t, so I guess it’s all up to me.

Come visit me: www.dakfoto.com

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what time is it, and what day is it?

Imagine my surprise and horror to discover that the last time I posted on this site was in 2017. Imagine it! No, seriously do it right now. Imagine my checking in on my site and chuckling at my own linguistic cleverness, looking to the date of my latest post, seeing 10.22.2017, going to the kitchen to make coffee that I have on hand but do not drink, making said coffee, letting it cool to a reasonable temperature, preparing a glass of water to wash my mouth out with afterwards because coffee is the devil’s hot bean water and tastes as such, taking a swig without swallowing, looking at the post date again, and doing a spit take of my coffee for dramatic effect. Just imagine!

I knew I hadn’t actually blogged in a while, but I would never have imagined that it was THAT long ago. I semi-frequently update the “read” part of this site, where I keep a running list of the books I’ve read; and, I semi-frequently read, so in my mind I felt that I’d been checking in on floorpie.net more often than I apparently had been.

I’m also surprised that, given the covid-19 pandemic, that there aren’t 2+ years worth of insane ravings on here. Where did all that energy go?? (seriously, where did it go? Can you tell me? It’s all a haze).

But I digress. Or not really, as I didn’t have a point to digress from in the beginning. Where does that leave us? I dunno. Will I be back more frequently? Doubtful? Maybe? Is my mind capable of long-form twitter posts anymore? Only time will tell!

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different area codes, II

Since my last trip to China I went to China again. I had a brief sojourn in Germany, which was my first time, and appropriately magical; but, then I returned for less than a week and headed out to Hong Kong…which, is strictly China but also decidedly not. I came to the conclusion, perhaps at least partly based on the sentiments in my last post, to take advantage of the fact that I was all the way out there, to travel somewhere else.

I tried to pull a solo trip to Bali together at the last moment, but there were literally no reasonable flights to be had…and I don’t even mean that from a cost perspective, I mean that there were literally no flights without multiple layovers and 12+ hour travel times (for a flight that should be ~3 hours). So, lesson learned, Bali is not a place that you go to on a whim.

I tried Cambodia and had similar results, and was at the point of resigning myself that this was going to be “just” another trip to Hong Kong for business and I would be heading home afterwards as per usual, when a work friend of mine suggested Beijing. My immediate reaction was inward and was mostly “but I wanted to lie on a beach, not go to China…AGAIN,” but this time did promise to be different.

Oh, I just remembered that I also tried Singapore and that didn’t work out, either…I digress.

This time I would be going to China as a tourist. I would see the Forbidden City. I would see the Great Wall. I would see the cafe on the 6th floor of a Beijing office park that was a recreation of the Central Perk cafe from Friends. And I did. I saw all of those things and more and so the question to myself is now: what do I think of when I think of China?

And the answer is, without drumroll or fanfare, still factories. (insert laughing emoticon). I suppose that should be understandable given how many times I’ve gone and spent my days in factories and how many times I’ll still do so in the future; but, I will say this: the Great Wall, in particular, touched my heart and mind and still lingers there. It’s touristy, yes, but that does not diminish how amazing it is or the sense of awe you get by visiting. So, China, to me you’re now factories and one hell of an amazing achievement.

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different area codes

I’m in China…again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been, but I think something like 30. The thing is, every time I’ve visited, I’ve been in factory towns both known and remote. Shenzhen is the most well-known, and the most high-tech and well-developed…but I’ve also spent a lot of time in towns with literal dirt roads, chickens in the streets, and non-ironic rickshaws. There’s things you see in towns like those that seem to be common…things like outdoor pool tables, garage shops with roll-up doors in a long row, and one Western-style hotel rising out of the poverty to service the business men.

I was thinking about my experience with China, which, if I may be so bold, is pretty extensive at this point…but at the same time, it’s an experience where I’ve never had the opportunity to see the country outside of various factory towns. What do other people think about when they think about China? Do they think about the Great Wall, the clay warriors, Bruce Lee? Is it the exotic and misty Orient full of ancient secrets and wonder?

Probably so, and that’s just as fair of an assessment as any. For me, though, it’s a totally different feeling…

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solo musings

People in LA, possibly most anywhere, whilst alone in public, scribble furtively in little notebooks. 

Not unlike, one might note, the one I’m writing in now.

I wonder if anyone else is scribbling about the pointlessness of their own writing. Given that this is Los Angeles, probably. 

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