In the Moment

I once had my cell phone stolen by Scott Lucas. That would be the Scott Lucas of Local H and Scott Lucas and the Married Men. It was April of 2010 and the H was at some shitty bar outside of Fort Worth and I was using my phone to track the setlist. In the middle of a song Scott took the phone out of my hand and put it into his pocket.

I got it back at the end of the show. I think I got lucky, too, as I’ve heard stories of him taking phones and throwing them across the room.

Scott Lucas and the Married Men only did one show in 2014: the annual Christmas show. I was there. I was in the front. I was taking pictures. At one point I watched Scott turn and look at me through the viewfinder and shake his head. I put my phone away. He nodded.

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One of the coolest things that ever happened to me was at a Peacemakers show at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, Wisconsin. I had my camera out and was standing right in front of Jim Dalton. I decided to record “Banditos” and, well, just watch.

You can skip to about 5:50 if you want. The cool thing happened at the very end. Up until that point it was just a regular performance of “Banditos” that I’ve heard hundreds of times before.

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I am writing this particular post on The Beast. It’s the first time I’ve used The Beast for much of anything since I replaced it with Ludwig in December of 2013. Why? Because Ludwig the Laptop currently has a corrupt OS. I’m waiting for the good folks at Microsoft to send me Windows 10 or however that works in the hopes that it will fix the problem without me having to take the drastic measure of wiping the hard drive and starting over from scratch.[1]

This means that for the last two weeks or so I have been without my main computer.

It’s also why I got a really good go at restarting the blog and then just kind of stopped. See, Ludwig is my main computer and basically has been for the last year and a half. Then there’s The Mothership, which is a home built gaming rig that lives in my office and is kind of a pain in the ass to get to since my office should be considered a Federal disaster site. Then there’s The Beast, which was my main computer for a long time and which I just don’t care to use now that I have Ludwig. It has its own onboard video card and is basically hot as fuck to run. This isn’t good in, y’know, a laptop. I put up with it for the better part of five years but I don’t feel like I have to now.

The upshot here is that for the last couple weeks I haven’t been spending much time on the computer unless it’s intentional. Most of that time has been on The Mothership, which isn’t a good writing machine. That has meant, though, that if I’m on my computer I’m on my computer. If I’m watching TV I’m watching TV. If I’m doing something else I’m doing that other thing.

For the longest time it’s been doing that thing with the computer in front of me or being on the computer with the TV on or whatever. It’s been nice to break myself of that habit, at least for a little while.

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I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed yourself doing this. I find that from time to time I’m watching TV with my laptop open in front of me and using my smartphone to look something up. What the fuck is up with that? It’s disgusting.

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The night Scott Lucas took my phone I couldn’t believe he’d do such a thing. I was only a few months removed from that night at the High Noon Saloon where Jim Dalton finished “Banditos” with his guitar front and center in my camera lens and thought that having a record of everything that happened at a concert was the greatest thing ever.

Now, five years later, I’ve realized that Scott was right. You can’t experience something and record it at the same time. You can’t split your focus that way and still be in the moment.

I guess there’s no real lesson here. There’s no profound realization. There’s just a moment. You can be in that moment or you can be out of that moment.

It’s like old family vacations. My dad always had some itinerary in mind so if the rest of the family was faffing about somewhere he’d say, “Take a picture, you can look at it later.”

Looking at the picture later is a pale imitation of being there in the moment.

Besides, how often does anyone actually pull out old photo albums or pop open their picture folder or go to their YouTube channel to watch old videos? I know that I have a lot of pictures I never look at and videos I never re-watch.

It’s better to be in the moment and to be able to say, “I was there.”

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Also, yeah, blogging will return shortly, hopefully. I didn’t just give up again, as is my wont. My laptop gave up on me. The thing is that this time around I finally feel like I have something to say that might actually be important. I haven’t always been there.

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[1]The good news is that I haven’t lost anything. Probably 75% of what was on Ludwig was on either the Mothership, the Beast, or both already. The whole corrupt OS thing wasn’t a fatal crash, so I was able to start Ludwig up in safe mode and hook it up to my trusty 750G Western Digital MyBook and move everything over. So if worst comes to worst I can do a wipe and start over and only have it cost me time. It’s just that since Win10 releases this week if I can just get that installed it should overwrite the current OS and replace whatever is corrupted without having to reload everything and that would be swell.

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