Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crazy Hiram's Used Computer Emporium

Would you buy a computer education from this guy?

After a couple of years working in corporate computing I knew it was time to bust out of the rut and do something different.  The idea for a calendar about computing was proposed  by Wolf Kohtz.  The idea for Hiram Access the computer guru was born.  I contracted with a cartoonist/mail carrier who created a series of 12 panels that became a calender that never saw a mass market.

The closest I got to a deal was standing in line to talk with the computer columnist John Divorak.  I showed his the calender and got a one word review: "Cute."    It was a one word review that executed the idea.

I still use the illustrations, seen here as a way to make my blog go viral!

Hiram learned to concentrate so completely that the propeller on his beanie would spin to the point of lift-off.

Back up is essential. Imagine the despair. Imagine the lost creative electrons authors failed to back up. It's the digital equivalent of scattered pages on the wind. How many times have I written just the right reply, hit post, and seen the screen freeze?

Getting Zapped means different things to different people.  Some think of the splat of an unexpected paint-ball right in the kisser.  Others remember sparking up the Norwegian wood above the tree line in the High Sierras. Or maybe you remember that foggy day in San Francisco when you stumbled into a file box of R. Crumb wonders in a dingy thrift store? What's real when it comes to memory?

Was Hiram a leader or a follower?  You wake up in the morning with the words in your head. How to make a momentary reality out of the images floating across the lens of your memory? Just write it dude and let the images tell the silly story of an imaginative desperation. 

Chant today with Hiram Access!

So why not wiggle like so many blissfull salmon fulfilling their destiny in the ragged creeks of Marin county? I remember climbing under the sheets wiggling in the subconcious hoping to merge with a desperate group of questing wierdos. Hey let's chant to the computer gods and put the ideas out there on electronic space. Who'll know after all except me and you?

Friday, January 22, 2010

A history subject to invention

I had the habit of working until I could save a thousand dollars then hitting the trail.

One summer I hitch-hiked up to Canada to go climbing in the central ranges of British Columbia.  I traveled under an alias.  That summer I was Big Jake. Having a new name and a history subject to invention was as freeing as hanging my life on any number of mountain ledges.

It's hard to imagine now the gift of time I gave myself. An entire summer on the road, wondering and wandering into whatever the road delivered.  The time spent well off the road was the most memorable.

I was doing some craft work then too. Making leather belts and carving hash pipes out of deer antler. Up in a barn in Ashland Oregon I got to work over a 50 gallon drum of deer heads. The buzzing flies, blank eyes and protruding black tongues made it real. Hauling the heads out of the drums, cutting the horns down close to the skull to save the crenellated buttons that made such good pipe bowls took some sawing and carving skills.

A few days later I was fishing for hallucinatory salmon on the Rogue River. Casting from the shore into the swift midstream waters hoping that the fish were there. I imagined the huge fish struggling upstream getting angry enough to hit my lure.

The sun worked on my forehead and built a thirst kindled by vague desire and sunburn.  After an afternoon of nothing but casting, a 50 pound king salmon broke the water right in front of me. Perseverating through the swift air above the roaring river, four, five, six leaps and disappearing below the water for ever. Did I really seen what I remember?


I can remember wondering if I'd ever regret all the time spent solo in the mountains.  I can answer that question now.  I'm glad for every second spent with a pack on my back and the open trail waiting.

The days I spent reading Russian novels by the campfire are still with me.

The hours spent singing in the canons still resonate.

Night sky pressed galaxies into my eyes. Home was a ledge at 12000 feet. 

Recalling these moments let's me to change the now just enough to make life sweet.