Archive for the ‘Me Myself&I’ Category

Basic need

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

In Evicted, Desmond writes that low-income people looking for housing or work are often assumed to be "more or less ‘rational actors’ who recognize trade-offs and make clear choices." Through his research, however, he saw people wear out from long, fruitless searches for decent apartments or jobs. The people he encountered could better be characterized as "’exhausted settlers,’ who accept poor housing in a disadvantaged neighborhood or a dead-end or illicit job after becoming depleted and disheartened from trying and trying and failing and failing."

Chicago’s eviction problem.

Shelter should be a basic right. You can’t do much without it. It starts there.

The fact that private companies can be landlord and never have to answer anyone about anything, should be completely illegal and never be allowed ever again.

There should be some kind of teaching and self-reliance over services for buildings: I’ll cut the grass around and I’ll teach the teenagers how to do it. Don’t charge me shit. Same with clogged toilets etc. The money saved should be re-invested by the landlord  into heavier work, in partnership with the state, the city (sewer increase so that toilets don’t overflow).

The problem with everything being “solved” with money is that no one gives a single fuck. That leads to the stronger getting away with everything and the weakest losing everything, ending up in the streets.

It frustrates me to no end that we know and have all the solutions in the world and we just let people rot. Goddamn.


Friday, May 24th, 2019

I had to laugh thinking how Kelly would have reacted not only to the security headaches but to the exasperating management regulations that never existed in his day. I might be cleared for top secret, but I was also on a government contract and that meant conforming to all sorts of mandatory guidelines and stiff regulations. Kelly had operated in a paradise of innocence, long before EPA, OSHA, EEOC, or affirmative action and minority hiring policies became the laws of our land. I was forced by law to buy two percent of my materials from minority or disadvantaged businesses, but many of them couldn’t meet my security requirements. I also had to address EEOC requirements on equal employment opportunity and comply with other laws that required hiring a certain number of the disabled. Burbank was in a high-Latino community and I was challenged as to why I didn’t employ any Latino engineers. “Because they didn’t go to engineering school” was my only reply. If I didn’t comply, I could lose my contract, its high priority notwithstanding. And it did no good to argue that I needed highly skilled people to do very specialized work, regardless of race, creed, or color. I tried to get a waiver on our stealth production, but it was almost impossible.

Skunk Works book.

So, of course this rubs me the wrong way.

I love how engineers know exactly what compounding effects are and how all of a sudden they forget about it the second it applies to us, humans. We do not live in a vacuum. All the requirements to make a better, more equal world, rose from history. There was/is a precedent –a phenomenal bias towards anyone not a white man- that led to those requirements. The precedent lasted for decades if not centuries if we want to go all the way down to it. So, you can be mad as hell at your ancestors and them only.

Secondly, those stealth vehicles and top secret planes were made despite all that “horrible” administrative overhead. Some waivers might have happened and/or things went without minorities on board. Bottom line is, the work went through and was done, regardless of what the government pushed Lockheed to do on the civil rights side of employment, right? And because it was the right thing to do, I don’t think there’s anything to whine about. Affirmative action’s goal always has been a noble one and always will be. Once again, blame your ancestors/compounding effects.

Thirdly, I read Kelly’s autobiography. This man was about solutions and not about complaining. We need black engineers at Lockheed by law? He would have gone down south, hit every single HBCU, talk to the best local black engineers, make them move to California. Problem solved. It would have been a pain in the ass but he would have learned a lot and probably would have just not been interested in talking shit about that. The government pays for all of that, anyway.

Elitism is a hell of a drug. Elitism drills in people’s heads that some people are better than others. They aren’t. it’s all about access.

Different people accessing things at the same time/rate have the same kind of output.

It’s not plane science.


Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Sometime during summer 2009, I hit my left leg on a coffee table really hard. It hurt like hell. I hit it again at the same spot a bit later that year and for some reason, my body instinctively stopped moving said leg much.

Things became weird. At first I didn’t really notice. I still could do everything: running, pedaling, basketball, dancing, skateboarding even. But it was as if I was missing a whole 180° of action on the left.

It did weird things. At first I probably lost muscles. And then balance. Just slightly. Then the right side of my body compensated and worked out more.

It’s been a good 18 months that I’m working my way back to recover those 180°. Pivoting more and more on my weak left leg, from heel to toe. Jumping on it. It’s just fear in my mind. Everything works just fine. Everything is connected in our bodies. In a way, I atrophied my lymphatic and/or nervous system by partially shutting down physical movement. That’s my theory.

In the past six months I saw a difference. I breathe better. My ears are less clogged. I can sing back as high as I could before that stupid injury. I feel more “balanced” physically instead of having a weird weight on the right side of my body.

There’s this weird effect where simply moving in a way that I haven’t done much in ten years, triggers memories from before 2009. It’s nuts. Early Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s signs? I don’t know.

Skateboarding helps tremendously. It’s the best exercise to make my legs pivot in every direction and make them stand in said directions. A lot of cracking noises in them ankles but it’s all good. I can’t skate much for now –no insurance- but once I get it? It’s over for you hoes. In the meantime,

go go gadget legs s t r e t ch


Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

The skateboard pull has never stop since I was ten.

I just watched a documentary on Daewon Song, a legendary skateboarder. It sent me back.

Daewon at his peak was incredible. Doing things at a speed and a level of mastery that was so far out that we couldn’t even dream of doing half of that. He was that bad. 3 flip to nose manual on a steep ass, rough bank, like it’s nothing.

I was skating Paris and Daewon was skating LA. Now I’m in LA and I know where Gardena is. I know the triple-digit street LA a bit. But more than that, I understand the paradigm. Parents working constantly. Hot days. Perfect evenings. The brutality of that economic system that pushes you to want to try some stuff like jumping on a board and slide on a handrail because fuck it, let’s try. The urgency. The desperation. The creativity.

Hardcore capitalism created street skateboarding. Car culture –parking lots, ability to go anywhere- fed it.

All I could see from 10,000 miles away was teenagers with freedom to spare while wondering how this was possible.

It seems wrong how Daewon is known across the world in one community and still had to live in his car for a while, not so long ago. Hardcore capitalism is some serious shit.

He’s a kind soul, like most skaters I’ve skated with or skaters I heard in interviews.

This makes me want to drive around, find a parking lot lit with soft orange lights and practice my manuals. Just skating.

Just like that

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Further to this… at this point, Google controls:

– the largest browser people use to view pages (Chrome)

– the largest platform people use to run that browser (Android)

– the largest way people discover content online (Google Search)

– the largest way people advertise online (Google Ads)

– the largest way people share video online (YouTube)

– the largest email provider (Gmail)

This is way too much power over the internet in one corporate entity.

It’s way beyond what MS ever accomplished at their height, and it’s way beyond anything Apple ever accomplished either.

The power Google have over the internet at large and the content people consume at this point frankly terrifies me.

A comment online that stuck with me. And for the rest of our internet lives we go through another company, Facebook (Instagram, Whatsapp) and that’s about it.

Two companies rule 98% of what we do do online.

Change, people. Use alternatives. Get used to inconvenience more.

Long two, what you gonna do

Monday, May 13th, 2019

You can’t shoot the 3 correctly under extreme pressure like a game 7. Four teams played yesterday, they all sucked super hard from behind the arc, far beyond what they can do.

Long 2s win games. Pull-up jumpshots –CJ, Kawhi yesterday- win games because they’re super hard to defend and “doable” even under heavy pressure because they’re close enough for one player to feel good about taking them. Drives can get stripped. 3s not falling mean you give the ball away. Had Ben Simmons being shooting jumpers, the series would have gone the other way and probably ended in game 6. I wanted to see the Sixers toughness against the Bucks instead of having the Toronto Kawhi and a bunch of scrubs (just kidding) go against Milwaukee. We’ll see.

The Warriors game was phenomenal too. Steph just gives no fucks at the line under pressure. Mofo was smiling and shit. 8/8. Portland VS Golden State. We know it’s going to be a sky battle with crazy 3s in the first games. Whatever happens, the Warriors should probably win this but we’ll have fun watching it.

A Bucks/Warriors finals series is something I’m hoping on. Experience VS Length. I’m ready.

That age thing

Friday, May 10th, 2019

More people than ever are living long, healthy lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years for men and 81.1 for women. More relevant, however, is that as people grow older, their total life expectancy increases. So for those who are now 65, the average life expectancy is 83 for men and over 85 for women. And because I’m 83, I’m expected to live past 90 (but I’m aiming a lot higher than that). And these are averages, which means that perhaps half of us will live even longer.

Fast Company.

As people grow older, their total life expectancy increases. That’s something we don’t spend time thinking about enough. It has giant implications!

He says he’s 83, he was born in 1936. He’s not only still alive today in 2019, but still writing articles and being an active person in this world. It used to be that at that age, you were mostly doing nothing in a chair.

My grandmother is in a chair, mostly doing nothing. She’s 94. That’s a decade more than before.

Which means that my parents, born in the 50s and today in excellent shape, will live for even longer. And I will even more. I believe I’ll be able to still ollie a skateboard past sixty. I had a 73-year-old grandpa banking shots and running around with me two weeks ago.


Which triggers questions:

– if life’s that long, why do we focus so much on the 20s and 30s? They used to be important because we’d die early. They were important because we used to get house/kids/ at that time but it’s shifted to the next decade now. Those twenty years are about learning and figuring shit out. A lot to process in this global world.

– if life’s that long, why do we want to change things so much? Computer interfaces for instance. It’s unnecessary, we need consistency more than novelty. We need to make enjoyable moves, not re-learn all the time. At first you think it’s fun to re-learn or that it’s no big deal. After twenty iterations of that shit, you’ll be annoyed too. Trust me.

– if life’s that long and that resources on earth are finite, why don’t we slow down? There are so many things to learn or try through decades of life that don’t require full destruction and reconstruction of a part of the economy, like the tech-economy is doing. No need for growth. We need to sustain, now.

It’s one if the biggest shift we’ve ever had to adapt to.


Thursday, May 9th, 2019

The Bucks basically bitch-slapped the Celtics. The Milwaukee Limbs are scary. They’re long, they’re efficient. Giannis is amazing and barely playing. Sucks to be the other team.

The Sixers could be in a much better position if Ben Simmons could fucking shoot the ball. Jesus Christ. He’s so fast and fluid with the ball but that’s about it. It’s tragic. Of course playing against my Kawhi is something else but the Sixers should have been able to dispute those losses better. Props to Jimmy Butler for never giving up anything.

Chris Paul and Kyrie have been having trouble size-wise. It’s the playoffs and being small(er) is being abused by everyone. Which gives Isaiah Thomas’ 53-pt playoff game a few years ago even more status. This man was on a mission and his dedication will forever stay in the conversation.

NBA shooting problem

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

I’m impressed by the lack of shooting fundamentals with young NBA players. It’s legit insane.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Friday, May 3rd, 2019

I’m in the middle of many powerful things happening around me.

It’s been five straight years on the west coast. It’s been nuts. From working for Toni Braxton to making dope ass friends to working for the public library and meeting more awesome folks, it’s been wild. I’ve learned a lot. A lot made sense and fit what I suspected and expected. I know, that’s kind of blurry but hey, I’m here for the long haul. You should too.

A new chapter is on the horizon. Feelin’ it.