I like wine

We bought a new bed 15 years ago or something. My wife is not sleeping well and blames the bed a little bit.  I mean if you lay in bed awake long enough you’re eventually going to blame the bed right? Listening to podcasts the company Casper advertises.  They ship you a bed in a box.  Seriously. It expands when you open the box. Memory foam and other foam. It’s supposed to be real comfortable. that’s what people say.  they even give you 100 days to test it out and return it. Whatever.  It probably sags out at 110 days.  Just kidding. I’m sure it’s fine. Anyway, she finally ordered a new bed and it never came.  Checking the tracking it never shipped.  The company apologized, sent us another bed and gave us $50 off. Well, the same thing happened.  Tracking says “labeled and ready to ship.” Today they sent it a third time.  They sent it from the New York office and watched it leave in the UPS truck. Tracking looks same as ever, but UPS says it takes 24 hours for tracking to get accurate. Weird.  Seems strange that the bed cannot seem to find its way to us.  I am fine with the current bed. I think her side is worse than mine though.

In other news I have an old truck. It’s been running badly. Took it in to the shop and they “replaced the fuel filter and adjusted the carburetor.”  Drove good for a day then my wife took it to get composted dirt for her garden. Truck drove like shit. Wouldn’t stay running so she kept having to shift to neutral and rev it. It got so bad that on her way home with the dirt she stopped at the shop to see if they could “adjust the carburetor again.” They said leave it there.  That was 3 weeks ago. They told me I needed a new carburetor and I overnighted one. It did not come in for 3 days. Took them a few days to put it on and they said it was bad. Got another carburetor and they spent another few days putting that one on.  Said that one was bad too.  Hmmmm.  Now I have to return the carburetor and they are going to find another one. Seems like it’ll be another week at least. I’m thinking there’s something else wrong besides the carburetor but what do I know?  I’ll tell you what I know: carburetor is a hard word to spell. Even now I know how to spell it and even though I am a damn good speller I have trouble with spelling it almost every time. Look at it.  It looks easy.  Now stop looking and write it down on a piece of paper. See what I mean?  Weird word.

I want to drop one of our food distributors.  We only buy a couple things from them and so they jack the price up to make their money. But they are the only company we can get those things from and I like the specific brands and products so I stay with them. I am picky about the products, every product. it has to be right. Anyway, I am trying to get one of the other 2 food distributors to try and carry the items so we can drop the third one. On one of the boxes is the name of the company, their website, and their phone number.  I shared this info with food company 2 and then waited for weeks for them to get back to me.  In fact, they didn’t get back with me at all I had to get back with them.  Turns out it’s not as easy as calling the company and getting the deal done. But it’s also too boring and complicated to tell you.  Suffice it to say that a few weeks after I started this quest I am only very slightly closer to my desired outcome than I was then. Getting companies to procure the specific products you want is a lot harder than you might think. Hell- finding the best products is difficult. Often times these food distributors sell low quality stuff because it’s cheap. I want high quality stuff but there’s not a lot of people looking for that.

What else? Baker’s Pride makes ovens that need to be altered to work properly. I have 2 bad burns on my right arm. I have a few cuts and scrapes on my legs from working at the Repurpose Project.  I tried to freeze a wart off my face a couple days ago but I keep forgetting to look to see if it worked. I hammered my hand today while trying to drive poles in the ground at the Repurpose Project. I hammered right next to my thumb of the other hand holding the pole. It swole up. Swole is not a real word but it sounds good and you know what I mean. My thumb hurts now. I am trying arnica cream on that.  Last week a food runner sent a white pie to the wrong table. Tonight a different runner sent a deep dish to the wrong table. The 2 food runners have 2 jobs: cut the pies and run them to the right table. It’s harder than you think. It’s hard because you have to READ every ticket and CHECK every pizza. You get in a hurry.  You see deep dish half and half you send it.  But there’s ANOTHER deep dish half and half about to come out.  You see white pie you go, but there’s ANOTHER white pie coming out.  I get it. I know it’s hard. We burnt one pizza tonight But I thought it wasn’t burnt too bad and sent it out anyway. Big mistake. It got sent back. Damn.  I never should do that.

I hate to dwell on a lot of “bad” news or “first world problems.”  But I do like pointing out the complexity of a life and the kinds of things that can happen all at once, in a short period of time. Jean Claude would tell me something like,

Passez moins de temps à courir après des rêves vides . Mieux vaut se concentrer sur le sublime . Ne restez pas coincé dans les plaintes , mais trouver le bonheur dans la vie quotidienne.

Except he would say it better of course. His version would have more mystery and intrigue. 

So one more complaint and then I get to the good stuff. Now my text it stuck in this box and I have no idea why. I had to write something in English and have it translated to French of course, for Jean Claude, but why after I cut and paste can I not escape this box?  Believe me I cannot escape it. I hit enter a hundred times and my text stays inside a box now. 
That sort of thing infuriates me and Jean Claude would even tell you, It should NOT infuriate me. I should not worry about stupid stuff like that. 

Whatever I write in this post from here on out will remain in a box. There is no reason or sense to be made of it. Why?  Because I copied and pasted something. That's why.  SO get used to it. If I ever decide to cut and paste something I will be stuck in a box for the rest of the post. Just like the ENTIRE last post!  I started with the translation of Jean Claude's comment and my ENTIRE post then had to suffer the box trap problem. Believe me, I've tried everything. There is no way to get out of this box unless I start over. 

Which brings me to wine. I like wine. I like red wine. I like it. No, I am not drunk on wine- I only had 2 glasses. But I had my first sip when I opened this page and so the title jumped out at me right away. I will leave you with a short list since that is my habit of late:

1. If you decide you want to write a blog DO NOT use wordpress.org.  Even though they have improved A LOT over the years, they still do weird stuff like put you in a box you do not want to be in. 
2. If you ever choose to hammer poles into the ground and your pole is too tall requiring you to be sloppy about your hammering, stop and get something to stand on so you avoid hammering your own fragile hand. 
3. If you ever buy a Baker's Pride oven and it is burning your baked goods, call me and I will help solve your problem.

Jean Claude Julién

"What is lost ? Just as a picture of a time gone already . Instant without fullness. The time is true is yet to come. We write for the moment that will never be what is lost ."

The quote above is a comment from Jean Claude on my last post. I don't know who this is but he often comments on my blog and has thought provoking comments like this one.  I was complaining about losing 3 years of writing but Jean Claude says "What is lost?"  He's right of course but he is probably above it all, resting at some French bakery, without a care for the problems people face, reading as many blogs as he can read in a day. leaving comments to make people wonder. 

But it is so curious to know someone is reading. I have not written in a while because I felt in a writing limbo. So how does Jean Claude know I've written and is at the ready for comment?  It's a mystery. When I clicked on his name in the comment section I was directed to a website for a hotel in Paris. When I look over the "team" I see no Jean Claude working there. Is he linking to this site on purpose?  Does he work there? Why has someone so far away decided to follow my writing? It's curious. So curious. 

I bought new ovens at work about 6 months ago. They tend to burn anything we put in the front. The reason seems to be the flame is right along the front and anything that sits above that flame gets burned easily and quickly on the bottom. This has been a frustrating problem. I bought a long metal sheet with holes in it and set it on top of the stone to try and keep the bottom of the pies from burning. That was not the best solution. This screen made cleaning out the ovens much more difficult and it only bought us an extra minute at best. Then I got the oven repair guy involved and he turned the flame down. When I had called the company they said to check the gas pressure.  They said there should be a 5" water column. We checked. There was a 5" water column. (This shows as a number on a dial when pressure is on a tube.) But right there on the oven door it said the oven should be set with a 3.5" water column. Hmmm.  Factory set it at 5.  Guy on phone said 5. Oven specs say 3.5.  We set it at 2.  Better but still burning bottoms. The other set of ovens never has this problem. Those ovens have 2 pipes full of flame that travel from front to back and above them both is a metal plate that can be slid out for cleaning. The plate seems to baffle the heat and keep it from heating up the stones too much. Looking under the stones on these new ovens I see a little "shelf" or 'bracket" on each side. I notice possibly it is big enough to slide a piece of thick metal across to create a baffle. I visit my welder friend Butch. I leave 3 minutes later with a thick piece of metal 10" x 52.5 inches.  I put on oven mitts and slide that thing with much difficulty above the flame. It barely seats on either side. Now the ovens work as they should. Now they do not burn the bottom of the pizzas.  Why did I have to turn the gas pressure down so much and add my own metal to get these to behave as they should?  Why is a company selling $15000 ovens that burn pizzas?  Why ?  Jean Claude can you tell me? 

I often find that I have to alter things to make them work properly. My small car had a handle hanging by my head. I had to remove that handle so My hat would not hit it every time. I often have to paint light fixtures to dim down the light effectively.  Many new fixtures only come with white LED light. The light needs more yellow, more dimness. I am often engaged in efforts to improve products that I use. But having to "fix" my brand new $15000 ovens is pretty ridiculous. And the "company" that makes them is hard to find. You think you can find anything on the internet but finding the Baker's Pride Company that makes pizza ovens is difficult.  They are owned by some other "food group" and when I finally was able to get someone on the phone they did not sound like they had ever baked anything in these ovens. I should have asked them point blank, "Have you ever used these?  They are horrible." I might have asked if I had thought of it. I got the feeling the guy lived at his desk. 

But now one of the ovens is fixed and tomorrow I can fix the other. Fixing an issue like this makes my day. Finally fixing something that has been broken for so long makes me extremely happy. Giddy with happiness. Sure, there is a bit of regret that I didn't figure it out months ago, but the pleasure of having it fixed from here forward is enough to help me forgive myself for not cracking the code when I first found the problem.  I was in a sort of denial for a long time.  "We must be doing something wrong. There is just no way they could make this product this faulty right?"  It's difficult too because I am a fan of the Baker's Pride oven and so I expect the product to be of the best quality. Now I am not so sure. I am wondering if Blodgett makes a similar mistake in their oven now. 

That's it. My wife has insomnia and she woke up and left the room at 2:30. I woke up then. Then I woke up again at 4:30 and needed to pee. I often make the mistake of drinking a large glass of water very late. I decided I could hold it and went back to sleep. I often get these PEE dreams. I am looking for a place to pee.  I am desperate to find a place to pee.  I start peeing in a corner of a room and feel guilty about it because it is not draining anywhere but pooling.  I find a toilet sometimes but they are occupied or out of order. I keep looking and peeing in strange places.  I wake up and I have not peed at all. It strikes me as so strange that I am always peeing in my dreams but never in real life. So at 5:30 I had to get up to pee for real.  There was no sleep after that. 

I tell you all that dear reader to tell you this: 

1. Peeing in a dream does not mean you are peeing in real life. 
2. It may be best to avoid drinking large glasses of water right before bed.  
3. Because of my fitful sleep I am abandoning this blog to catch a few extra Z's. 
4. I wonder if all of this translates into French? Do they say Z's for sleep? Do other cultures refer to sleeping as getting some Z's? Do other countries think we are totally insane for referring to things in inches and miles? 
5. Why can't we just switch over to the metric system anyway? Where's the President who will fold that into his or her list of promises? 

Good Night Jean Claude.  Good night any other random reader who is not Jean Claude. 

Thank you Brent + neighbor of Brent


Here’s my story today….

In 2007 I started blogging.  The medium of writing has changed for me drastically over the years.  First it was a place for a short post and a few pictures.  It morphed into a place where there were few pictures and lots and lots of words. It became a place for me to write about whatever. Ramble, vent, express. The most frustrating thing about it was the blog platform. It changes quite often and not always for the better.  I got frustrated trying to insert photos for a spell and many of my posts were randomly lost. Then I discovered a new platform- Medium.  Medium was easy to use, much more user friendly. It seemed to be more of a community for writers and less like writing in a vacuum. So I started writing on Medium and was happy to leave my old blog here to die.  Then my host website, satchelspizza.com went down…. for days…. no word from the host server.  We had been having problems with the host server for years but never took an opportunity to find a new host. But the site going down like that was the last straw so my web guy switched it all over to what seems to be a much more reliable host. It’s called Bluehost.

After the switch the blog was gone.  It hadn’t been copied and re-installed on the new host. This was a while ago… more than 5 months ago. My web guy didn’t know how to find it. I was like, “Whatever. Who cares?”   And then I began to care.  My good friend Brent had originally started the website for me and he had also saved my blog several years ago. We had talked then about changing it to a new blog site that was easier for me to use. He was able to import 2007-2012 back in.  I was happy with that.  “That’s good enough,”  I thought. I’m switching over to Medium now anyway. Then I began to miss my old blog and I began to like Medium less. I missed my old blog because there was so much there…. so much history. So many late night ramblings and musings. It was a hidden corner of the web that you had to know how to find. It was my private world. It wasn’t connected to a larger community like Medium and it was more of a private journal space and less of a community contest space (but more on what that means later….)

I had no idea what I had written in those last 3 years but I felt I had gotten more serious and possibly more personal. I felt it was an important part of my overall writing that was lost.  I started to grieve for the lost writing, even though I knew I am not well read and my writing is not stellar.  It is still my journal. It was as if it had been lost in a flood or fire.  It was just gone.  So I reached out to Brent again to see if he might be able to help locate and restore the missing 3 years. I felt bad for asking him because it feels so selfish.  He is busy with his life I haven’t helped him with anything lately so why do I want him to help me again? It feels like I always need him to help me so I was feeling guilty on top of sad about the missing years.

He spent a lot of time trying to no avail.  I was sad about it but tried to let it go. I went back to him later and asked again. He said he would ask his neighbor to help. His neighbor was good at that stuff he said.  But this was confusing too… “Oh yeah, my neighbor is great at locating lost writings hidden in the web and restoring them…???  ”    HUH?   He didn’t say that but I was curious how this was something that anybody was an expert at. To my understanding the writing was just lost somewhere. It wasn’t on the new site so it must have disappeared with the old site?

Months went by. I bugged him too often.  Once there was a breakthrough. With the neighbors help,  they found the old blog!  But Brent didn’t know how to open it and import it. He would ask his neighbor to help again some other time. I’m sure they spent hours just finding it.  Weeks go by. I am a little hopeful and also still somewhat confused and not hopeful. I reluctantly ask again and find out the neighbor’s got family who is ill. It’s not a good time for Brent to ask.  I agree. Wait a few months and we’ll try again I think.  Maybe there is still something that can be done.

All the while I am writing less.  I still write on Medium “occasionally” but not as long or involved as I did here.  I keep thinking I will return to regular writing once all the old writing is back and I will feel whole again. I write some in a private journal I keep. Somehow my mind wouldn’t let me just forget about those 3 years and carry on.  In my mind I had to get it all back and then and only then could I start back where I left off. I had grown to hate the blog until it was gone or partially gone, and now I missed it.  The old “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”  trick.

I planned to write a really long post tonight.  I am making up for the last 5 months here. Somehow I want to just get this down as boring as it may be. I want to chronicle this shift from hating my blog to liking it again. And here’s where I will give a few thoughts about Medium, the site I had briefly switched over to. Medium has all the great things I’ve mentioned.  But it also seems a bit shallow. There – I said it. I feel bad because I am also shallow but I want to be blunt and I haven’t gotten that much out of the Medium posts I’ve read.  It seems that young people are writing like crazy over there.  They give a catchy title and a photo and you can hit the heart if you like it and you can “respond” to the writing or even just sentences or paragraphs. I love all that.  But the titles are often gimmicky and the writing is often not exciting to me. I feel like when I write there I need to have a catchy title and subtitle and then keep it short.  I feel like I need to edit it a few times. It just has a different feeling than here.  It seems more public. I guess it’s like the difference between the dive restaurant you like where you grab a secluded seat in the corner and enjoy a meal vs. the bright big chain restaurant where there isn’t as much character and you eat and get out quickly and feel a little embarrassed for even being there.  Sometimes too it feels like a contest, like everyone is trying to outdo the next guy. Why are there so many posts about how to get noticed and go viral on Medium? It almost seems like a competition for writers of self help sometimes.  Medium may be the best thing ever for writers but it just wasn’t the right fit for what I do.

Because what I do it rant and ramble and write and write and don’t ever edit and just say whatever without a care for the details.  Maybe I will “craft” a piece for Medium now and then if I get an idea for a short and sweet post on something specific. But I am happy to be back here.  Back to a place where I have almost 9 years of writing amassed. Thanks to Brent, and his neighbor.

So, Brent didn’t want to ask the neighbor during the family illness but I had asked Brent what was up so Brent dug in again, spent waaay too much time on it, and finally figured it out.  Today.  This morning. So here it is.  The missing 3 years are back.  During the last 6 months I write some dumb stiff on Medium.  I’ll still write there too now and then even though I just talked behind it’s back and said all sorts of things that any writers there would hate me for.  I shouldn’t be such a snob.  It would be one thing if I was a good writer.  I could talk about Medium and have good writing to back me up. Or maybe I would have a million followers on Medium and so I would love it because it validated me.  Actually I do have more followers on Medium than I’ve ever had readers here.  So there’s that.  It is a better place to get my writing seen.

Finally though, getting my writing seen is not really why I write. Sure I want my 2012-2015 writings preserved, but just because of all the time I spent and for the posterity of it.  I write because it can be cathartic.  It can be fun even.

I’ve been making this podcast for a few months. tomorrow I’ll post episode 23 but I had a few bonus episodes in there so it’s actually the 26th. I approach it differently than writing. I try and post a new audio file every week. It’s so hard. Hard because I don’t always have the time for editing my audio. Hard because I don’t feel I am that good at it yet. Hard because it means more time at the computer. Hard because I want to talk about personal stuff and intimate details of my life but at the same time I don’t want anyone I know to hear them. I post them in a public place but I am so happy when I see they have 3 or 4 plays. Some have 8, some 6, and one or two have 13.  But this is good.  I like to keep it on the down low.  It’s interesting to me that someone in the Netherlands, Virginia, and California listened in the last week.  The stats tell me that.  I have no problem with these strangers listening. That seems kinda cool.  But it’s much harder to imagine people I know listening. Most people that write long for readers and try and drum up readership.  Most people podcast so they can get people to listen. I am not sure why I am the opposite but I think because I like the feeling of being unknown. I feel a little embarrassed about sharing too much. I am not a fan of over sharing on facebook but then I will go and write journals for anyone to read?  It doesn’t make sense. Well, it makes sense to me if I can keep it quiet. I like to think about how all of this online trail will outlive me.  I like to think about these things being here for my kids when I’ve been dead a few years and they want to remember me. I like to think about the entire arc of my life and all the painting, and art, and stained glass and writing and podcasts, and sculptures and mobiles…. and how they all have the ability to outlive me and become something bigger when I’m gone. The story is there.  It’s getting told blow by blow year by year week by week it’s getting told in writing and audio. Getting told by paintings and collage. It’s the artist part of me that wants to express but also remain somewhat obscure.

It’s late again. If I start writing at night it seems like it’s always getting late and I’m still writing. I’m done. I’m going to go to bed early. I could spend an hour in the studio but I feel like an extra hour of sleep will do me good.

For the record–2 things:

  1. I normally go to bed at midnight and wake up about 6. Sometimes 12:30 -5:30, and rarely 11-7. But mostly at this point in my life I need between 5 and 6 hours of sleep. I lay in bed until 7 and then swim every morning.
  2. I started using capitals now since flirting with Medium. I felt bad because there was nobody on Medium writing without capitals and proper punctuation. Nobody. It was peer pressure I tell you. I have been honestly trying to just work the capitals into my writing.  Because I know it is easier for people to read and I am trying not to be so stubborn and I am trying to be okay with doing things mainstream like that. I may slip back into my old ways of no capitals and spotty punctuation soon so enjoy it while you can.
  3. I said 2 things but am finding it hard to tear myself away from the keyboard. The photo at the top is the latest window I made for work. I finished it yesterday. I started a new one today. I am on a mission to close in the screen porch at work with these windows. It may take me a year or more. I’ve been obsessed lately and in the studio for many many hours every day.






late or early, depending on how you look at it

one of my main problems in life is feeling the urge to write when i should be a. already sleeping or b. past due going to bed.

i mean, i do write early in the morning sometimes, and sometimes in the middle of the day, but most of the time i really want to unload my head it’s after midnight and before 2am.

i think it mostly happens when i store too much information and have not made time to substantially express my inner feelings, dreams and fears. i enjoy the late night early morning space because it is so much quieter than anytime of regular day.  if it’s past 1am, no one is likely to call or text.  no one is ringing my doorbell, or mowing my yard.  the birds and neighbors are even asleep and there is a stillness that is hard to match anytime in the normal waking hours of a day.  somehow the ideas seem more endless in this vast quiet space, the hunger for meaning is palatable, and writing comes easier.  Who wouldn’t want to take out the trash when it’s full? Only the lazy.

My writing is best when I think it’s hidden, missing, or no one is reading. My writing is worst when I write for an audience. My paintings are best when they surprise me. My paintings are worst when they feel like an obligation. My life is best when I have room to expand and contract. My life is worst when I feel no control. My plants are best when I re-pot them and fertilize and water them. My plants are worst when I neglect them.

I know I need sleep. It’s scientific.





i have no idea what my username and password are anymore for this site. i was lucky this time because some password software i installed on my computer knew and let me in. i’ve changed my mind about medium.  i like it still for a lot of reasons, as a good place to write, but it seems like it’s a place to write short pieces, short and good or sweet and funny. i could see myself turning some long journal post here into a medium post with some major editing. but i like writing here. i miss it.  the thing that makes it most difficult for me now is the missing 3 years of posts.  you’ve heard the old saying, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”  well, that’s how it is with me and this blog.  i hated this blog.  i hated the site, and lots of things about its constant updates, new features, and the difficulty i often had posting pictures or videos here. but it was good in a way too because it made me just write.  just write — no pictures or video or extra fluff. it must be hard to follow all this without my last 3 years for context but what can i do?  i had posts about my frustrations with wordpress, my new infatuation with medium, and all of this “backstory” is missing from the feed.

but when we switched servers and i lost the whole blog i was like “whatever.”  but later it made me upset. later i wished i could read what i was thinking a year ago, where my head was at. fortunately my friend brent had saved the entire blog 3 years ago so it was “only” 3 years that was missing. well, i was bound to abandoned this blog if i have 3 years missing.  i’ll just leave it being 2007-2012 and start over on medium.

but i can’t feel good writing all this on medium, stupid stuff that goes in circles.  there’s no context. there’s not a hundred plus posts before explaining my madness. i really want to give up. the most frustrating part is that there exists a file with my entire blog out there and my friend has it, but can’t crack it open. the file is out there but i don’t know who the person is that can open it and re-import it. so i am stuck.  i don’t even know enough about the file or computers to know where to begin to look for someone who can open and import my old blog.

cake. i am taking a short break to get cake.

i’m certain if you had access to my most recent 3 years of writing you would see that i have a thing for starting to write too late and feel hurried to finish and get some sleep.  you might also see a pattern that i have too much to do and not enough time. i write when i should be sleeping.  i sleep when i should be writing. i have a lot to say but i am pinned down by time. tonight is no different. it’s early saturday morning and i only arrived here by a last minute skimming of my bookmarks. i was curious if i could even “get in” to the old blog.

this is the best cake in the world. my moms carrot cake. oh lord it is divine. divinity on a fork. i think i should try to pick up writing even though i lost 3 years of it.  maybe i can “pretend” all of that is not lost. why do i let it upset me so much? i wish i knew.

this is the beginning of my slow acceptance of the lost years and my gradual re-entering to my blog site.  my journal. my private thoughts and fears. there must be someone who can crack the code of my old file?  should i put my energy into that past or into the future? hmmmm




the short of it:

we had a terrible website host. we switched to a new host. my blog was lost in the switch. little did i know that the blog was attached to the web host.  that sentence barely even makes sense to me.

my friend brent had a saved version of my blog up until some point in 2012. he was trying to help me get out of my blog site, wordpress.org.  we never did get out but at least he had archived those first 5 years of my online writing.

but the last 3 years are gone. i’ll be writing at medium now. i may be back here later to give you a link to my writing there.  just goes to show you that even if you think you’re online writing may live forever it can be wiped out in an instant.

i think of it like a fire that burned all my printed writing. it only lives on those pages so when those pages are gone the writing is lost. 3 years of my online writing here was lost.  there may be some path to recovering it but is it worth the trouble?

more to come.


i won’t abandoned my old blog… ha. i like the newness and slickness of medium. i like that it’s build more as community and less as an isolation chamber. i like writing in a place that is hard to find. i like writing here and there and everywhere. i like it and yet i am scared to death. i’m always a bit cagey about leaving this digital and personal breadcrumb trail. first of all, i am spewing forth text like the krispy kreme doughnut machine when the doughnuts are HOT. i like to write. i can crank it out. and so this method makes me sloppy. i’ll say anything that’s on my mind. and so often times in any given day, i might be anxious and scared about things i am writing and publishing, even if only in my honeycomb hide-out. it is quite absurd how frightened i feel from public writing and yet i continue to do it every week or every once in a while. it’s like an addiction that is hard to stop. think: cigarettes. gambling. porn. alcohol. i guess it would seem odd to add writing to that list because writing is supposed to be a good thing and those are all bad things….

regardless of good or bad, i am compelled to return and write something else. i’ve said it before and it is still just as true: i am anxious and eager to move the last post down the page. i don;t want anyone finding my blog to read that last post first. it’s ridiculous, whatever it says. in this case i remember that my last post, my post before this one, was talking about switching over to medium, and stats and readers. i am making too much of the site and the stats. who cares if i write here or there? why should i care? why even click on the stats button?

i will admit i have an ego like everyone else except for the really high holy people. i want to hear the good things and avoid the bad things. because i am so scared of the bad, and know how obsessed i can become with the negative feedback, i avoid reading reviews altogether. i’m referring to reading reviews of my restaurant here , but it could apply to writing as well. or anything. i live in fear of my critics and yet when some complaint does filter through i try and address it, learn from it, improve.

take for example the lola cola: at my pizzeria we make our own soda from scratch. it’s a fountain machine and the hardest part of making sodas for me was taking on the fountain machine side of the equation. trying to learn how the whole system operates. while i have some people and contacts who help me understand that part, it’s still the scariest part for me. that’s a tangent though. the point is i wanted to make the cola a bit more carbonated. i wanted a bit more pop in the pop. i wanted a burn in the throat more. so after long investigation into carbonation, and trying to grasp the controls i could adjust, and conversations with people smarter than me on soda fountains…i ended up cutting back on the cola syrup and increasing the carbonated water in the valve adjustment. it’s called brixing. with a simple turn of a phillips head screw you can add more syrup or more water, or less of either. clockwise increases the thing, counter-clockwise decreases. you put a special tip on the flavor and it separates the syrup and water. with pepsi or coke you try for a 5 to 1 ratio. 5 parts carbonated water, 1 part syrup. since our sodas are homemade they taste stronger. by lessening the sweet intense flavor i increase the carbonations bite. i thought it was brilliant. i could save a little money on syrup and make a better soda all by turning a screw…. but then the next day a customer says the cola isn’t sweet enough. the server tells me. i am stunned. he can taste the difference? turns out, yes, he could tell. he was accustomed with our cola and liked the sweeter version better. today i put it back to how it was. i can’t let people down that way. this guy noticed. he liked it the old way. i caved. here’s the example of the “complaint” which has me jumping.

so maybe you can imagine what it would be like if i were looking at yelp all the time. i’d be a mess trying to solve every problem. sure, i’d get the benefit of reading all the glowing reviews and happy remarks, but i’d no doubt dwell on the occasional complaint of service or soggy or burnt pie. i’d spend weeks trying to figure out how to make a spinach mushroom ricotta pie less soggy and i’d likely fail to make it any less soggy and succeed in ruining my and my employees peace of mind. i already spend way too much time trying to fix stuff that isn’t even broken…. yet. i am always trying to head off the next problem at the pass. is the fountain machine even working right?

i write. i unload my words like pizzas on a saturday. i fill up the pages. i push the last post down with this post and soon i’ll wish this post were further down the page, less likely to ever be read again. i live in a strange fear that someone is reading this, and bored to tears. but you’re reading of your own free will? don’t blame me! and you don’t.

writing is expulsion. it is production. it is expression. i’m trying to master the art of saying a lot by saying nothing at all.
“what is it i write about?” you ask. ” i write about writing. i write about nothing. i write about being scared to write. i write about my love/ hate relationship with writing,” i say.
“oh… ok, hmmm,” you say.

but you come back. just like i come back to write the same thing again. and again. and again.

it’s weird i know. i write because i hate television. i write because i am an artist and writing comes easy when painting is hard. if i handed you a harmonica and a saxophone and said play one or the other every day…. you’d probably get pretty good at the harmonica.
because it’s easier to self-learn. it’s easier to get decent results. or results at all. well, the harmonica is writing to me and the saxophone is more like a violin and that’s more like painting. i love to paint but i often write instead becasue it’s easier.

omg the word because is killing me now. for the past week every single time i type because i type it wrong and have to go back and fix it. while you can see i avoid capitalizing because of my extreme disgust for going back and fixing things, now the word because is making me insane. i’ve already explained to you that i don’t and likely won’t capitalize. i also many times ignore the stupid semi-colon i hit by accident when i type hyphenated words like don;t or can;t, or even i;m…. and now i’m going to tell you to please get used to becuase being spelled wrong because i type it too fast or my fingers mess it up or whatever? i guess it is a sure fire way to shake off my readers. i am a weird writer. i don;t want people to read my writing and i don;t want to write properly. i don’t always spell things right and i don;t seem to care. it must be frustrating i know. but for me it’s not. for me it’s just writing. and if it’s not fun and easy then i won;t do it. if it becomes tedious, if it become work… then i’ll pass. but it’s good i learned that. at least i now know that in order for me to write i ask you suspend you connection to apostrophes, capitalization and now possibly spelling mistakes…

and all that i ask of you and i don;t even give you good writing in return. for that i am truly sorry.


anyone out there been reading this blog for a loooong time? maybe 1 or 2 of you… well, if you had, you would know my love/ but mostly hate relationship with my blog site. it’s wordpress.org. which is different than wordpress.com, but i don;t know what the difference is…. anyway, the site is cumbersome. cluttered. hard to navigate, hard to understand. for example, recently i tried to understand stats.


first of all, it took about 60 seconds for this page to load. and just look at the lists on the right side and the top. then try and understand the stats. maybe you are way more technical than i am. maybe it all makes sense to you. but me? i wonder a million questions when i look at this. it must be tracking the satchelspizza.com website is all i can imagine. the whole thing is a clusterfuck to me. that’s just one tiny corner of a closet, that page. the thing is built for people who care waaaay more about all the details than me. i just want to sit down and write. i want it to be free of clutter and i want it to look good. clean. simple. i worked hard to set this blog up so that there isn’t much clutter on the page. and to get that photo up? i had to first export the file and change the size, then import it back here and there’s no telling how it will be formatted when i’m done. it could be a big picture with a bunch of little words from the start of this paragraph scrolling down the right side of the image, all messed up looking, OR— it might look fine. no problem. the thing is i just don;t have control, and surely with the airplane cockpit of controls i can do whatever the hell i want, but i’d have to take a night course for 4 months to get the hang of it. i’ve simply got better things to do.

regardless, i tell you all that to tell you this: i’ve wondered many times how i could MOVE my blog to a new place that i liked better. it seemed important to me to keep this archive of my years and months and days and nights. i held on to that idea but all of a sudden it seems ludicrous. why? because of medium. medium is some new place to write. to be honest i’m not really sure how it works or what the hell it is, but it seems like a place to go for writers. a place to go write and publish like i’ve done here for the past 9 years. NINE YEARS! but medium figured it out. writing is easy. easy because the site is not cluttered. while there seems to be a SUITE of cool things one can do that are actually helpful, like comment on a paragraph of the text, or recommend a story or essay. instead of it being this dead space i visit to write, i get a feed of other people’s writings every day and it tells me how long of a read it is. i’ve found myself giving up facebook for reading other people’s essays. and when i go to write it is everything i ever tried to do here…. plain white paper with clear text. easy to read. easy to add photos. easy to follow other writers like it’s dang twitter or something. i think twitter maybe bought it?

look. i am so excited about it that i am ready to ditch this old thing like it’s a 2006 windows computer. i can leave my archives here and they hopefully won’t die. and i will even hope to come back here from time to time and visit. remember the old wordpress blog days like some low wage job i loved despite of the pay. i can always come back if me and medium break up.

i tell you something else i love about medium. and i’m even wondering if i should tell you. no one reads my writing. i know because they make stats easy. there’s a button for stats and i get to see this:


that makes it so much easier to write. i don’t have to worry about what i said. i don;t have to stress that other people think i’m a dork. i like that for my first story there was 1 view bit zero reads. this means someone opened it up and changed their mind. whew.

i’d love to think that i’m ready for readers. i’d love to think that now that i have a new place to write that i could really pump out some readable shit. you know- write GOOD stuff for a change, start over with a good blog. but i enjoy that it’s beautifully done. the design was obviously considered. it’s an aesthetic i enjoy. can relate to. and it’s more easy to write. easy because the stats show me nobody cares. even if a few of you migrate over, it’ll be so much easier to write in a place as simple as a typewriter.

i signed up for medium. you have to have a facebook or twitter account to join. i hooked up with my twitter account. i get daily emails with a list of staff picked stories i can scroll through. the titles and the length of the articles is easy to navigate. i’ve found a dozen new things to read and find them as interesting as podcasts even. i even downloaded the app, which is saying a lot because i keep just one screen of apps on my iphone and medium made the cut. it’s my favorite new spot. i read more. i read interesting stuff. i write. i find writing has taken on a more elegant role overnight. it’s not confusing. it’s not cumbersome. it’s not a 2006 windows xp on an HP laptop that weighs 7 pounds.

what a great night it was at work. what a great night. we kicked some pizza butt. we cranked them out non-stop with a long stretch of “over an hour wait for a table.” the pizzas were on point. we made all in house pies within 35 minutes. the dough was sublime, well, at least the large were. i could spin them for a while. they were perfectly proofed and cold enough to spin good. the medium pizzas were full of thin spots but well, i don;t know what that means for my new blog site, medium. i was mad at the medium pies all night and here i am talking up medium the blog site like it’s candy. it’s weird i know. but my first few medium posts are sorta thin as well. i haven’t hit my stride at all over there. the prettiness of the writing has me thinking of it in a new way…. and i don;t even understand what that is. but i think it just has me wanting to write more because it’s so much easier to do.

i feel good. i feel more inspired lately than i’ve felt in years. i feel more ready to make things. i feel as excited to make things as i felt when i was 18 or 20. i feel like writing will be easier, podcast may take form, my paintings are getting good, and my stained glass will outlive me. my kids are really great people. my wife is the best thing to ever happen to me. my job is once in a while hard and sad but more often fun and rewarding. i feel like i’ve discovered that heaven for me, is on earth.

early morning

i look forward to spring break, my kids spring break. even though my restaurant is busier than normal, it’s a chance for me to get a break from all the intensity and hang with the kids and wife more than usual. it’s a wonderful thing that we can wake up, each in our own time, and have a slow unwinding morning where we make breakfast late, talk about the things we want to do in the day, and maybe play cards or watch videos. i’ve always thought it is such a shame the way our society structures school as a rat race. we get up with an alarm and its a race against the clock to get our kids some breakfast, make their lunch and sweep them out the door to school where they spend the first hour of their day trying to wake up properly. kids should sleep in and be at school by 11. i mean, it’s easy for me to say that because my restaurant opens at 11 so while there’s plenty to do there before we open, the customer part starts then. the whole early morning routine gets old fast. if it weren’t for summers and spring breaks and occasional 3 day weekends, i would lose my mind. i don’t mind getting up early when it’s natural like today.

so it’s mid week spring break and we’ve escaped our regular life for the beach life. i came close to planning a trip to new york. i thought the kids would enjoy the big city and the things we could do there, but their recent sibling fights and tantrums told me to wait another year. taking bratty fighting kids anywhere is no fun. i don’t imagine they fight or complain more than most kids but i’d like them to be more mature for such an expensive and heavily planned vacation. my wife would rather just come to the beach anyway. there’s not much she likes better than long sleeps, long walks, lots of reading, and being together in a slow motion sort of way. i get it. the tendency for americans is to do everything big, loud, fast, and intense. her tendency is quite the opposite. whereas i will worry the kids aren’t getting enough outside stimulus and seeing and doing enough interesting things, getting cultured… she’s quite satisfied that they sleep a lot, learn to be bored, and deal with just being at home. anyway, i’m not going anywhere with all this, just laying it out there, spreading it on my toast of a morning like soft yellow butter. i sleep better at the beach than anywhere ever. i sleep more soundly, have more interesting dreams, and sleep longer here than at home. but i also get tired earlier and have less to do late night so i’m in bed early which has me up early. i’d love to sleep until 8 or 9, but it’s not happening when i’m in bed by 10:30… my body just can’t keep being still and my mind can’t either. some people would get up and walk on the beach early morning, and that sounds pretty nice. but this morning i’m spending some time with my laptop and a blanket. the air is chilly. i can hear a soft rumble of waves and occasional bird. i’m thinking about the leftover blueberry scone i’ll toast up and the yesterday’s coffee i’ll ice and add cream to. oh, wait, we’re out of cream. oh well, i’ll add some milk. not as good but good enough.

i love to disappear. i like falling off the face of the virtual earth by not writing here for weeks and months at a time. i’ve totally avoided facebook lately. because i thought about the things i do in the day and the time i spent scrolling facebook was the only thing i could think of that seemed poisonous, wasteful, unhelpful in my day. the reason is simple. as a local business owner and well known one at that, i have accepted any friend request that comes in. this has me with 1198 “friends.” so scrolling through facebook is just scrolling through a list of insanity. i’ve tried to hide and filter my feed but it’s just no use. if i whittled it down to the ones i really wanted to see it’s be maybe 10 and i just don’t plan to spend time sorting through 1188 people. i always wished it was more like twitter or instagram where people can follow you but you can choose who to follow. i follow some news feeds on twitter and love that i can read headlines, link to longer reads, and get a sense of the news easily. i can follow so few feeds that i can look at twitter for a few minutes a few times per day and follow my entire feed. same with instagram. i can just follow a few people and keep up with what i find to be an interesting assortment of photos. but facebook, lord have mercy, it’s dumb article after dumb article, after weird personal story. it’s a huge waste of my time. i guess i shouldn’t have agreed to all those friends. anyway, what i was trying to get at from the start of this paragraph was that i am a private enough person that i like fading out of cyberspace for weeks. sure, i may leave a hint of my mindset with an occasional tweet, but other than that i’m just happy doing my own thing. making paintings, stained glass, podcasts, and hanging with my kids. and then once in a while i might decide i need a writing fix and so i pop back here to unpack my brain-bag.

its not a good week of weather at the beach. it’s rainy. overcast. foggy. this has me feeling sortof like i’m in a really nice jail. at home i can go to my shop and work on a project, go to my studio and there are many projects. i am doing some maintenance at my guesthouse, painting and staining and fixing things. i can go to work or my mom’s house. but here we are in the house. there’s no shop or studio, no moms house or job or guesthouse. so i spend entire days without leaving and going to the grocery store all of a sudden sounds like fun. it’s not terrible. i mean comparing it to jail sounds worse than it is. i know i need a break from work and the stresses of home which is why we’ve come, but the weather! sitting on a chair under an umbrella at the beach, digging holes and making castles with the kids, swimming and playing in the water, that sort of activity can fill up days in a blissful dream state. but the sun is not on our spring break schedule. not even close. if the weather app is right the sun will decide to shine like crazy as soon as i get in my car to head back to work. i can’t help but be somewhat bummed by this. i know there are many other things i should be upset about. news stories or world problems. but my world can be quite insular. i find that i can focus almost all of my energy on my family and my daily world. and when my good buddy the sun is absent for days and days on end- when my old pal the sun decides to leave me hanging on my only spring break… well, as much as i want to be positive and not complain, i just can’t help being bummed and feel somewhat like i’m serving a sentence.

looks like i’ve been sitting here typing about an hour now. maybe it’s the deep sleep that has me on here writing, or the thick cloud cover, or the boredom. but my stomach says to stop this nonsense and toast that blueberry scone. my head is just itchy enough it’s telling me to shower. my back is stiff and asking for a stretch. so that’s my spring break update. that’s my return to the world story, here to remind you i haven’t yet died or given up writing. i like disappearing and letting my few readers forget me. and i like coming back and telling you an intimate tale of how my mind works and my days unfold. i’m starting to embrace the idea that writing is partly for me and partly also for the reader. the podcasts i have been making are leading me in this direction. for it never seemed silly to write for myself and not imagine an audience. but as i speak into a device, and listen back to my own words and stories and musings, it is harder for me to imagine it’s only for me and no one else. i start to think more about the fact that someone will “listen.” and somehow “listening” is a more compelling act than “reading?” i don’t know. i’m a bit fuzzy on what i am even talking about now but suffice it to say that my making audio has me considering the audience more than i ever have with my writing. and this has me admitting there may be readers to my writing just as there may one day be listeners to my talking. it’s sort of sad because i want to be invisible. but i also have an ego like everyone else. i want to make art that gets discovered a hundred years from now. but i have to live with the fact that i’m still alive and scared to turn my soul inside out for any passerby to see. while i’m not saying anything that shocking i’m still revealing my personal world. it scares me. even just saying a bunch of dumb stuff. it’s like i’m shouting, “hey! over here! look!” and then when you look i’m hiding behind a chair and saying “shut up. just hide here. shut up. what is your problem?”

i like hiding here. and i guess i like shouting for you to look too or i wouldn’t be here this morning. and while you can try to make some toast or oatmeal or somehow make something that will rival my toasted blueberry scone and iced coffee with milk, i doubt you can match it. the scones i made yesterday were moist and so delicious. well, on day 2 we found if you slice them in half, horizontally, and toast them, they get so amazingly crunchy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. of course, the butter and the warmness of them trumps all. even though the coffee has milk instead of cream it won’t matter because the second day toasted scone is so good even drinking water with it would make it a hard hand to beat. but you go ahead and try to get something sweet to eat. it’s ok that it won’t be as good as my scone. because you probably get sunshine where you are and me? i just get clouds and rain. clouds and rain. so my scone has to make up for the sun.


so, the website came back. this means that the company must not be out of business? i guess so. they do not communicate with us. we are going to now more easily and quickly move our site to a new host.

since my blog was also down and i was writing, i saved the text from yesterday and posted just before this post, titled “yesterday”

today i thought about a short story. i thought about a short story where the world had lost the internet for a week and everyone was trying to adjust to the new reality. i thought of the scenarios i could describe where people kept reaching for their phones out of habit and then remembering the new reality, and how people were just turning to games to play on their phones, to take up the time that facebook or twitter or email used to fill. and i thought about how there could be quiet moments, where a character could hear the sounds of birds so clearly and focus on the sparkle in the eyes of their offspring, and these simple moments were only noticed because the relationship with the phones had changed.

i thought about such a story because i like to imagine MY world without the internet. i like to think about the extra time, energy, and inspiration i might or might not have if i gave up facebook, twitter, instagram and email. what if i just abandoned the internet altogether? stopped reading the news, taking pictures, reading articles, posting on social media sites. obviously if the entire internet was to go down for a length of time it would cause quite a chaos in the world now. it seems so interesting to try and think of how things would change.

and maybe i could write that short story. maybe i will make the time to try and tease out that story from my imagination. but i doubt it. no, likely i will try and wind up this rambling soon so i can get out to the studio to work on my new painting. i just finished framing a large one (at least for me) and the frame was one of the most difficult i’ve had to do in years. but i’ve started a new one and it’s at an exciting phase right now, about to take on it’s look and life and it’s more complicated than lots of my paintings. last week i spent 2 days making and installing a stained glass window for the greenhouse at work and this week i hope to do a second. it’s been so great lately because i’ve found myself getting to the studio often and having several projects going at once. it doesn’t always come so easy, so no time to stop and try and write a short story about the world the week after we lose the internet, ha.

the website is back up. whew. that should make my next few days easier. one less “problem” to fix.
and the people who are supposed to know say the weather is going to warm up. even some sun coming back to the sunshine state…. hallelujah. i once made a stencil that said tha, it was cut like so:

back when i was in art school in atlanta at atlanta college of art. i was probably 21 or something.