how totally cool and a bit foreign, at least to me…

how back in the day, before ‘social networking’, there were still networks – phone system, and the people who would game the system. I laugh cause my sphere of influence didn’t have any cool hipsters who were phone phreaking, just some peeps from the local school board. Expensive tents, Radio Shack scanners (close but not really) to listen in on cops and firemen, and classic Star Trek. Maybe they did know about this, but no in my family.
I got to this from a BoingBoing post which sent me to this link:
1971 Esquire article
“”That’s 2600 cycles per second to be exact,” says Lucey. “Now, quick. listen.”

He shoves the earpiece at me. The ringing has vanished. The line gives a slight hiccough, there is a sharp buzz, and then nothing but soft white noise.

“We’re home free now,” Lucey tells me, taking back the phone and applying the blue box to its mouthpiece once again. “We’re up on a tandem, into a long-lines trunk. Once you’re up on a tandem, you can send yourself anywhere you want to go.” He decides to check out London first. He chooses a certain pay phone located in Waterloo Station. This particular pay phone is popular with the phone-phreaks network because there are usually people walking by at all hours who will pick it up and talk for a while.

He presses the lower left-hand corner button which is marked “KP” on the face of the box.

“That’s Key Pulse. It tells the tandem we’re ready to give it instructions. First I’ll punch out KP 182 START, which will slide us into the overseas sender in White Plains.” I hear a neat clunk-cheep. “I think we’ll head over to England by satellite. Cable is actually faster and the connection is somewhat better, but I like going by satellite. So I just punch out KP Zero 44. The Zero is supposed to guarantee a satellite connection and 44 is the country code for England. Okay . . . we’re there. In Liverpool actually. Now all I have to do is punch out the London area code which is 1, and dial up the pay phone. Here, listen, I’ve got a ring now.”

I hear the soft quick purr-purr of a London ring. Then someone picks up the phone. “Hello,” says the London voice.

“Hello. Who’s this?” Fraser asks.

“Hello. There’s actually nobody here. I just picked this up while I was passing by. This is a public phone. There’s no one here to answer actually.”

“Hello. Don’t hang up. I’m calling from the United States.””

Calling a random payphone to talk with a stranger – kinda like random poking on facebook. Which I don’t do much of. Perhaps I’ll start.


Why hello there – how are you?

yeah, july. Had myself a very nice birthday – dinner and a movie (inception) on friday, cookout and pool fun on saturday, sadly tooth pain on sunday 🙁
getting old and falling apart, I tell ya.

weather’s been hot – and that allows me to ponder – wow, it’s hot. 😉
went on a trek to help score a ping pong table for our amigas Morgan and Beth – yay!

From Ping Pong Pursuit

We’ve been enjoying the pool in their backyard too!

From Jun Livin'

so there ya go, just a gentle note to say ‘howdy’ and to say ‘I hope things are going well with ya…’


Makin’ plans…

it’s frankly a little scary!
Picked up some tickets to two shows I’m excited to be going to – Billy Bragg in September, and Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s in October – I’m never this well put together!!!

yay me.


late at night, memories come flooding in…

on the calendar in the kitchen – ’00 – Driftwood with Terry!’ – it’s good to have adventures you can look back and laugh about!

and look – a TAWS from Jul 15, 1999 – kinda long, but what the hell …

Memories – 15Jul99

So, I was going through the boxes of shit I have in my Len (Library/den) when I came across a great box of memories…

Shabop – it’s April ’94, and I’m picking up my Hawk GT. I’m crazy about the bike – have been for a while now. Ever since I first was intorduced to it – June 1988.

You see, at that particular time I was off defending the rights and freedoms of ALL Americans, in a far away land. One day, I went to check on my mail, and lo and behold – a copy of Cycle World had shown up. Cool I thought – for I was a bit withdrawn from my 2-wheel lust. Wondereed where it came from. But before I could get hung up on that mystery, the cover had taken over my brain. All the cells were working overtime to burn a copy of the picture into their individual memories. Wow. Nice bike. I recall enjoying the article, and filing the thought of owning one of those sweet little bikes.

Time goes on. I end up picking up a ’89 Kawasaki Ninja 750r – the sport touring one, not the ZX-7 backbreaker. Woods Fun Center, Austin, Texas. They actually had a couple of Hawks on the floor while I was making my decision. Sadly, one small concern I had was traipsing from Austin, center of cool as I knew it, to the homeland of Upstate New York. I had previously had a 550 Seca, so I decided the 750 was more in tune with “touring”, versus a “small” 650. Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha …

6 years, at least 5 lifetimes go by. I’m in DC. Work’s got me traveling nicely. I’m in Denver in the spring of ’93, and as a course of habit, I’ve made visits to the local bike stores. A NEW Hawk sits at Lakewood Honda. Oh so nice, I think. I must get one of these bikes. Once again I had fallen away from the 2-wheeled lust which has been a constant drive of my psyche. Since last I was in the position to purchase, and choose “touring” size over my heart’s desire, I had learned the joys of “small” bikes – thanks completely to my best friend Matt.

I was in Tennessee; a bit despondant. He was looking out for my well being and says – “Take the GS for a ride. It’ll cheer you up”. A sunny day + one Suzuki GS500 + a motorcycle addict x two runs up and down Deal’s Gap = Instant Happiness. Hmm, how to say this nicely. The GS, when compared to my 750 Ninja, was quite gutless. But the fun I had!!!! Never had I ever felt as comfortable on the Ninja. Full throttle into downhill corners?! Not a problem. Oh the joys of small and light. A connection had been made.

Spring of ’94. Work has me going to San Fran, but I’m schemeing to get to Denver to pick up the Hawk (they still have one in a crate!!!) As fates have it, Lakewood wouldn’t come down from their asking price of $4K. A frantic call to Honda USA, and the assistance of a kindly soul (who’s name is somewhere in my computer…) and I have the knowledge that Skipps Honda in Keyser, WV has at least 2 hawks they haven’t sold!! Cool. Phone calls, faxes, prayers – everything comes together! Since the summer of 1988, I had been desiring a Hawk. Since the Spring of 1993 I had been thinking of the one in Denverp. And now, on a sunny but cool spring day, I roll one out of the gravel parking lot of Skipps, and into Nirvana!

Wow. Memories. How about the break in ride? From West-by-God Virginia, up into central Pennsylvania – where I show up/off with pride the result of the handiwork of a friend. “Take a ride, my friend. It’ll cheer you up” – those would have been the words I spoke to Matt. Sadly, it had rained on me the entire time I was in Pennsylvania. He was pleasantly surprised/shocked. He eventually did ride and love the Hawk.

I would spend untold hours on the Hawk in Pennsylvania. and running up to New York, home. and around Maryland. Proving that I was wrong about small bikes not being “touring” worthy. But I didn’t know then. But now I do. And all the time I spent “touring”, I was exceptionally cheerful.

I have a box of memories. Things I can hold in my hand, and let my brain run free. One copy of a magazine – thousands of strings attached. Who was I when I got that? Why did it show up? Where have I been since then? And the fact that that’s just the seed. wow. Memories of the actual “plant” would take years to tell.

Hope your memories are as sweet.


** – email list – all the characters in the community – leading me to believe even more in my “Bird”

To Farrah, a friend of Carol’s, from Austin 1988…

Hey – haven’t thought of you in many many years – but today, thru the power of the intertubes, and the amazing repository of stuff known as ‘Wikipedia’, I have realized that I owe you an apology.

From today’s “On This Day…” section over at Wikipedia I learned that today (July 3) is the anniversary of the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655. It was just a month or so later in August of 1988 that I was in Austin for some tech training and my sister was also in town visiting with friends (I believe Jules was in town). Thru Blood I met Farrah.

It was Farrah who helped me understand that distinction that folks of Iranian heritage in the US call themselves Persians due to the conflicts our two countries have had over the previous years – hostage crisis of the late 1970s.

As a 20 year old in the US Air Force, perhaps I was incarnate what could rightly be described as a monster to the people of Iran. Of course being young and naive during that period of the Cold War era allowed me to staunchly defend the actions of the US Navy; “Identify – Friend or Foe” (IFF) wasn’t just for the military, airlines around the globe used it. Thus if an Iran Airbus had been shot down, obviously the problem was on the Iranian side of the issue.

Except it wasn’t. A plane load of people was shot down due to the actions of Americans, the poor training of the leaders of the USS Vincennes, and apparently the ego fueled bullyism of the ship’s captain.

So, in hindsight, my arguments in defense of the US Navy were bullshit Farrah. I’m sorry that I wasn’t more able to admit that we could have be completely culpable in the tragedy. I’m sure my attitude wasn’t at all appropriate, and that I should have been more humane in dealing with you in a time of sadness and rage.

I didn’t know then what I know now. Now that I do know, I’m ashamed, and I’m sorry.

I hope your life has been fabulous no matter how shitty the actions of my country have been, and thank you for the fashion help I got from you at the Banana Republic – everyone knows I needed it.

(Carol’s brother)