medium

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.

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:

stats2

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.

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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.

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today

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:
HALLE
LUJAH

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

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yesterday

feb 28, 2015.

3 years ago tonight the restaurant caught fire. i remember parts of that night so vividly. i remember standing at the back corner with a garden hose. spraying water into the vents on the eaves. i remember telling wade to get everyone out and call 911 at that point and i stood there and then i heard the sirens and i realized that things would never be the same. i realized the shit was about to hit the fan.

the crisis today is the website is down. both sites plus the blog. the blog was hosted on the site so i guess i need the site for the blog. so i’ve come to my google drive to write. i can cut and past this later into the blog i guess. the host for our sites has died. they are nowhere to be found now. so we start the process of trying to get our domain name back and find a new host. it makes my brain hurt thinking about it. it shouldn;t but it does. it’s my business and i feel like i should be a better CEO. i should not have my website down for days and weeks which is going to be the case. so i feel disappointed in myself and i should have seen how bad this company was and left many many years ago….

whatever. i didn;t see it coming and i’m here now without a site. so people can’t go find our menu and all that. my blog is not up. our live music is not up. i’ll use facebook some but it’s really not a replacement for our site. we’ll get it back up in a couple weeks i guess. it’s depressing.

but what’s really depressing is this weather. seems it has been cold and overcast for a week! the weather really affects me big time. i get down. i need the sun. the website down and the cold and damn dampness has me blue.

the podcast. well…. i’ve given up in some ways and not given up in other ways. there is a part of me that is still somewhat excited about the idea of getting my podcast out there and having that be a new form of expression for me. there is another part that has written all this off for a while. it’s like this: i am still making the occasional recording as i talk about whatever strikes me. i title the recording and file it away in my itunes, but i have pretty much no desire to open up garage band and start editing all this into episodes right now. i imagine that one day i will feel the urge to edit and i make podcast episodes but now i just don;t feel that at all. i’d rather go work on a painting or stained glass window in my studio so i am just trying to get material recorded and sorted…. with the hope that eventually i will feel like listening back and making it into something like a podcast episode. i think maybe the more distance i have on the material the more i will be able to hear it objectively. or be interested in cutting it up and molding it somehow.

clay. i finally finished reading the book on potter george ohr. he has to be one of the most inspiring artists i have ever seen and i don;t even do pottery. right now i just want to build a pottery studio and start to make pots. i don’t know what else to do with this inspiration i feel. i have a kids fort in the yard and i want to take it down and build back a little pottery shed. it’s insane. i don;t even know if i would like that medium but i somehow feel like i want to build a whole new outbuilding to try. i won;t do this i don;t think, not until and unless i take a pottery class or something and see how much i like the wheel and spinning pots. but maybe, just maybe, i could do some of that this year or next. maybe i could take a community ed class and make some pots and then build that pottery studio i am dreaming of. i already have a studio that is half stained glass studio and half painting studio. can i really take on pottery too? and podcasting too? i don;t know. what is wrong with me?

i actually type pretty freaking fast, or at least i think i do. i use about four fingers and sometimes a thumb and i can turn my thoughts into words pretty fast. but i can’t seem to get myself trained on that apostrophe key unless i pause every time i do an apostrophe. don;t will almost always have that semi-colon in it. i try. i really do try but it slows me waaaay down to get it right. i just learned it wrong.

i honestly think i will still do the podcast this year some time. but i don’t think it will be soon. i think it could be the fall. i don;t know why but i just feel like i need more time to gather more voice memo recordings and put them in categories and then i could go back and put some things together. i have some together now but i don’t feel ready. it’s like i want to get on a roll and enjoy making them and then i will want to publish. i don;t know. i don;t know. i don;t know.

that’s it. my website is down. or was when i was writing this. if you are reading it then it’s probably not down anymore. i feel blue. i need sunshine and warmer weather. i am mentally weary. but that seems normal for me lately. what’s my deal? changes i tell you- changes. i think about getting offline altogether and only making art and i think about lots of weird stuff like quitting all the social media stuff and website and going back to paper tickets at work and letting the place just get slower for a change. letting things wind down a bit. being less public about the charities we give to and the community involvement. i think about getting more out of the public eye and more into my personal aesthetic and creative world. i just think about stuff like that and i don;t know why. sometimes i wish i had some other side business that would allow me to take a few months off of the restaurant business and not worry how things went without me. sometimes i think it would be nice to train someone to do what i do up there so i could take a sabbatical. but my job title is so weird. i see things that are hard to teach. i feel like i act as a sort of rudder. i think i just feel these things because the all day rain and the all week damp and coldness. i hope that’s it. i hope.

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thinkin’

thinking about getting BRAND NEW OVENS at satchels.
thinking about if i should pursue the podcast idea or abandon.
thinking about the long weekend coming when we get new kitchen floors and 2 or 3 new ovens!

my latest project is getting new floors in the kitchen. these floors are anti-fatigue and anti-slip. now we have mats that we could get rid of meaning mess time every day dealing with mats (save at least an hour a day maybe 1.5 in labor)

but in order to get new floors we have to take out all the equipment, which means it’s a good time to get new ovens. i bought cheap used oven during the fire remodel because we had no money. now i could but nice NEW ovens.? i should.

thinking about the best kind and size.

can we do this all in a 2 day weekend? floors and ovens?

makes me nervous.

gonna make the final call on the podcast soon. soon being in the next 2 months.

will i publish or move on?

leaning toward the former tonight.

got a new desk chair that is cushioned. my life is good, real good.

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update on audio

i hit a wall. considered giving up. then i get inspired again and pick up where i left off.
i find new ideas. new inspirations. then i feel far from giving up. feel like i will succeed.

the nagging in the back of my mind, that i can’t turn off, that keeps me wanting to make podcasts….
is a force that might eventually help me finish. maybe it’s not a nagging. maybe it’s a force for good.

i made 6 of them, but maybe only 2 i want to keep, and i can’t even say that for sure.
but i want to complete the first one.
it’s an easy one.
i know what i have to say but i have to say it again. say it differently. if i finish the one i want to be the introduction, then i think other ones will come along. i have ideas all the time for new ones, but now my goal is just to complete the first one.

once i have a first one i am happy with, i think i’ll feel ready to move on. to consider publishing, to make new ones.

some days i wake up and i think “why am i bothering with this?” or “i don;t care about pursuing this.” and then it still cycles in my head all day and even though i don;t know how best to proceed i can’t shake off the desire altogether so i learn to live with it.

lately i think that the podcast could start to mirror the writing. where i talk a lot about the process. where i talk about the struggle of the process as part of getting to the stories that are buried.

i’ve got some new ideas today. they have to do with recording bits and pieces and being good about organizing my bits and pieces. thus making the editing part easier because i have the bits titled and organized in one spot.

i thought i had to get a good podcast in one take. i thought i had to tell my story and then throw in music and be done. but now i think maybe there is a way to tell bits and pieces over time, and then patch them together. but it’s still all a theory.

it’s so much harder than i thought, for a lot of reasons. finding time and space to record is hard. trying to talk while doing other things is hard. talking in a closed room alone is not the right thing for me.

but one thing i figured out that i think will ultimately be helpful, is to spend less time thinking about finishing the first one, and more time just getting more recordings. try and record more stuff. this sort of thing would usually overwhelm me because i don’t like the idea of sifting through too much material, but the fact that i’ll have the info organized should make it easier:
the sound of kids, dad, mom, home, traveling, work…. etc….

maybe i can even change up the first one and cull from several different categories. the truth is now i don’t know. i don’t know still if i will pull it off, end up with a product i am happy enough with to make public. but i am learning new things and finding the process very interesting. it’s easy to keep doing what i love and know how to do. make more paintings, make more stained glass. putz around at the restaurant fixing and decorating. but it’s challenging and hard to learn this new thing, think about some new art form. try and express myself in a new way. much much harder than i thought. that makes it a struggle too, but tonight it feels like an exciting struggle. tomorrow may be different.

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maybe 2

it’s raining. it’s late and it’s raining. the family is tucked in bed. i sorta want to work on my podcasting and sorta don’t. i’ve taken a week off of that obsession. needed to get some perspective from it i guess.
i had an old friend in town for the weekend. we went to the medieval faire and then i went straight to work saturday night after dropping the kids at home, and then we mostly just chilled out in the yard sunday, watching the kids do kid stuff, climb trees, jump on the trampoline, swing on swings, and go out on the boat. monday i was at work all day. we’ve had this urinal in the men’s room that was too high for some men and kids. it was only a couple years ago that i realized it was too high. i’m 6’2″ so i never knew but during the fire remodel we had some facebook comments asking if we were going to lower it. it wasn’t on the plan at that time and so a customer made us a stool. anyway, i don’t need to dwell on the details of the thing but suffice it to say it was time to fix that situation. so we took out the old urinal, tore out the wall to re-plumb it, and then i had to put the wall back together and make the bathroom clean and tidy again. the plumber and our maintenance guy helped a lot. but it took all of us working together to make it happen in a day. the last couple days i have been thinking about the podcasting a lot but have been busy finishing a booth around the ATM. it’s still not quite done. i keep thinking of new things i can do. and so that project is taking up my days and many times my nights are busy with the family or at work.
but this podcast thing is still sort of nagging at me. nagging at my mind to follow through. either publish, make some more, or forget about the whole thing. it’s like i needed to check back in on that and decide where it’s headed. so this afternoon i was able to do that some, and tonight. i started listening back, and re-editing some. i found one that needs some new heavy editing but when i went to edit- it was gone. i saved a version on my desktop but it’s an mp3 file and the garageband version where i could edit is gone. i guess i must have forgot to hit “save” after that one. shit.

there’s one that i need to do over altogether i think. it’s not a bad listen but i could re-tell it and clean it up. the audio i have is just too messy. now that i have put it together it seems like a good rough draft. there’s another one that has some potential but it’s just weak. there’s one that i think i should just nix altogether. anyway, i think out of the six i made i have maybe 2 that i like, maybe 2 that i would actually publish.

which isn’t terrible i guess. it’s a start. maybe i can do the 2.0 version of the one i like and then see if i can come up with a decent new one after that. i don’t know. i’m torn. do i really want to spend this much time on each one? going back over them so many times, editing, tweaking, wondering if i should do them over? will i just naturally get better at it? i’m not big on do overs. i am big on getting it done quickly and calling it a day. so, if it becomes too tedious then i’ll drop it and stick to the things i already do. what a struggle this thing is for me currently. it’s like i want to know if i will be good at this or able to sustain this expression but the answer is not yet obvious at all. part of me is very excited about the potential of telling my stories in audio and part of me feels it will be more of a chore than a joy. i think the week off has given me some perspective, and maybe if i can work on a new one i can feel inspired again.

man, time actually FLIES when i start to write. it’s weird. i’ve had some trouble sleeping good lately. i’m tired now but i also know that when i go to bed too early it messes up my sleep even more. i wake up even earlier than i do now. the problem may just be that i think i should sleep 8 hours and that seems like the right amount of sleep but i wake up after 5. so going to bed at 10 i wake up at 3. 11pm to bed? wake up at 4. and midnight = 5am. shit. the fact that i am writing about my sleep habits now is scary. the only thing more boring that reading about someone’s sleep pattern is reading about them wondering whether they should do a podcast or not. it’s bad. at least i know how bad it’s gotten. but let me at least finish the sleep thing saying this: i like staying up late but i don’t like waking up restless and awake at 4am. this seems to be the pattern i have fallen into. what is wrong with me? don’t answer that.

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website

i really care about our website. i have spent so many countless emails and hours working on it. cory is my friend and web guy who does this as a side project to his real job. he has good ideas and a good design instinct. i’ve always been proud of the site and wished that people went there and surfed through all the pages i’ve linked to. and there are lots and lots of pages to see.

but as all websites started going towards mobile friendly designs, ours was left behind. it’s in flash and apple doesn’t support flash in the phones and ipads. i knew we should maybe get with the times but i also knew that our website was fun and interesting and i liked that things could move. so, despite all the pressures to change it i decided to just keep adding more to it. layer it. sortof like what we do at the restaurant. keep adding more on top of more.

so i must admit i was pleased that alex blumberg mentioned our website on his podcast when calling to talk to me. i thought, yes! it’s so outdated it’s cool now. and we got lots of new visitors and i enjoy being a place that is a bit bigger than just the town we serve. i think our place is unique enough for people to make it a destination. i took my whole family to st. louis to see the city museum. maybe folks can bring their families to gainesville to see what we do.

and then a blogger and writer saw the site and wrote a piece about it. click HERE to see that piece.

wow. we got so lucky and got the great writer who somehow seemed to understand our whole concept from our website. she mentions the charity giving, she links to the history of lightnin’ salvage, and she even mentions my favorite obscure detail, our mascot, bad-o-mime. i’m just amazed at this article and how she was able to use us as an example of outside the box thinking. it’s one of our trademarks. and she nailed it.

she has a screen shot that shows our visitor count at 406k for the site. today, less than 24 hours after her post, it’s at 430k. that’s 24,000 visitors in 24 hours. my god. how is that even possible? our normal daily hit count is 150. and what if a few of those people come to the blog? and here i am with nothing earth shattering to talk about? well, except for the article she wrote and how it has launched us into beyonce level fame overnight….

i work around the clock. i answer emails, talk on the phone, bus tables, make pizzas, run food. today i cut out all the pieces for a new stained glass window to go over the ATM machine. it has a dollar sign and 2 lightnin’ bolts. at the restaurant i’ve been working on the stage, this ATM disco booth (strobe light/ disco ball thing coming tomorrow) and my whole life is wrapped up in making art for the pizza customers and making sure our consistency is as solid as our integrity. i am one of those obsessive/compulsive types who just wants to work work work and for me ‘work” means making art mostly, and always trying to make the restaurant cleaner and more efficient.

it feels good. it feels so good to have someone appreciate all the work that went in to our website. now if someone would come along and make our custom POS, Zipline, a household word my life would be complete. ha. we have a killer POS we invented years ago where we take orders from phones table side. we use it for catering and our gift shop. we customized it for our restaurant and it seems sort of sad that we’re the only ones benefiting from it. but honestly, my life is already complete. it was complete before i opened the restaurant and it was complete the day the kitchen burned. my wife and kids, my mom and in-laws, my personal projects…. they all make my life complete with or without anything else. we make and brand our own sodas. someone should come along and market those too. look, i have a lot of ideas for ways rich people can come and make money from my inventions. rich people out there reading this? come by and pick a project to adopt. we have all sorts of ideas. non-stop ever-flowing ideas.

actually, i am kidding. we don’t need the rich folks snooping around. we like the regular folks we serve every day. we like making folks smile. i LOVE hearing people tell me it’s the best pizza they ever had. i LOVE that! and it happened tonight a couple times. the website recognition feels good. but the daily reactions from real live pizza eating customers makes my days worthwhile. i do think about lots of ideas and inventions and ways to make money, but i don’t have time for all that. i’m busy writing, painting, and working on my greenhouse and hobbies. i am even wondering if i will find time to keep making podcasts among the other hobbies i already do. i’ve got 6 episodes now but i think a couple may need to be worked on or abandoned. and i keep wondering if i can keep up the momentum for them? my wife left the house today to pick up kids and i thought, “now’s my chance to talk and record another podcast episode” but i was too engrossed in making that stained glass window for the ATM and also listening to podcasts which is something i really enjoy. i think that podcasting is something i could enjoy and do every week or two. we’ll see. we’ll see. 2015 is my year for launching it. but i may wait a while. it’s not like me to wait but i am quite scared of bearing my soul in audio. telling intimate stories and putting my heart on my sleeve for trolls and haters to feast on. i am scared. i admit that. but i do still hope that i will gain courage and proceed. having great articles written about our visionary website helps me feel confidence about other endeavors somehow. it’s like i got a shot of steroids or something.

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wishes and realities

so one of my new readers encouraged and helped me to get an email sign up subscribe thing on this blog. you might see it over on the right side. i guess that in the past if you wanted to read my blog you had to keep checking in to see if i wrote a new post. sometimes i might go a month without writing so one could quickly tire from checking back and getting nuthin.

so now, if it works, i guess you can sign up and get notices when i post. i guess. i think. i am not sure how this widget knows that’s what you are trying to do.

****************************************************************************************

wow. it happened again just like a month or so ago. i wrote this long and extensive post and then the site crashed on me wiping out everything but the few lines above this paragraph. i hit the save draft button as i always do and the screen goes blank and says “are you sure you want to do this?” and then the only thing i can hit is “please try again.”
so last time i remember hitting please try again and i was taken to blank page to start a new post. so this time i hit the back button and i was taken to the same blank new post. i went to see my old posts and found this draft where just the first few lines were. so what i thought was a one time fluke has now proven to be a two time frustration. i guess i should be typing my posts into google drive where my work is getting saved every few seconds and then cutting and pasting it here.

so i can in no way get back into the post i had written. i started at 10:15 and it’s 11:30 now so i had written non-stop for an hour and 15 minutes. so you will never know what the title “wishes and realities” meant — and it’s ok. it’s ok for you because you don;t know what you missed. for me it feels harsh. i hate wasting time and while i did get a lot accomplished with that post, i would feel much better if it were still around.

in an effort to save the last hour+ from oblivion i guess i could try to sum up all of my words and thoughts into one sentence. i worked through quite a lot in that post so it won’t be as easy as just a single sentence but here’s my attempt:

forget it. i tried. it can;t be done in a sentence. ha.
shit. i fucking hate these machines half the time. i filled up the page with all of my musing on choosing how i strive and what i strive for. i spent so many paragraphs explaining the same thing from every angle. i was quite pleased really. and now i have to just end disappointed because the machine decided to delete my words. it happens to me more times than i care to admit. i could have been painting for God’s sake. i could have been doing something so much more tangible.

i must start writing in google docs. i guess it could happen there as well but google has that way of saving everything every few seconds. or at least i’ve never lost a document there yet. i don;t know. i shouldn;t let myself be so bummed. but while the last time it happened i was sort of relieved because i had said way too much and gotten way too personal, this time i felt like i had written one of my better posts to date. i felt pleased with myself because i made it all make sense. i walked through the thing from every angle and nailed it. it is things like this that keep me running from computers. things like this that keep me from writing more often. obviously hitting “save draft” should not wipe out all my shit.

i guess i can turn the title into meaning this now: i “wish” i understood why the computer hates me so much but the “reality” is that i will never know.

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mississippi

as a kid it was always fun to spell that word.
m-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i
one of the best and worst things ever happened to me in that state.
and here’s where i wonder if this would be a better story for me to write or to tell audibly.
and i guess i could do both but that feels not right. like painting the same thing twice, or making the same bumper sticker twice.

i thought maybe i could come up with enough bumper sticker ideas to never need to make the same one twice. t-shirts too. but i have repeated one of the bumper stickers. actually, the bumper sticker, “sorry i’m late, i was at satchel’s” is on it’s third printing, but with two different (but very similar) designs. lately i feel i am running out of good bumper sticker ideas. i get ideas all the time from customers but rarely do i think they really work enough to print. there was my previous office managers son who drew one up for me…. ‘GET it HOT at SATCHEL’S” and he had drawn flames all over the letters.
IMG_1150

oh no. i’ve crossed the line. i have fallen back. i’m back-sliding. introducing photos is something i loathe but sometimes wish for. as soon as i wrote that line about the first customer bumper sticker idea i used, i remembered i had one remaining of those stickers in my desk drawer. i snapped a photo and was able to upload it fairly easily here although anyone who has read my blog for many years might know i abandoned attaching photos a long time ago because i went through a long period where the photos woould not upload or they would displace the text in a weird way that i could not control. in other words, visually they were screwing up my posts and i spent WAAAY too much time trying to figure out how to control their size or the accompanying text. anyone who has read my posts for a while also knows i have real problems with computers. they don’t like me. my energy and their …”computer-ness” are at odds. trust me, it is very hard to explain.

so now that i was able to share that photo successfully i am afraid i will start including more visual props.these props may also take me on tangents that steer me further and further from my original thought. a customer came up with one of our best bumper stickers: if lost- return to satchel’s. and my father-in-law came up with THREE huge winners that i will likely feel compelled to also reprint….
SATCH HAPPENS
SATCH YO’ MOUTH and
SATCH what I’m talking about.
but i digress.
if i was to tell the story here right now of Mississippi and how the memory haunts me, and how it came back to me TWO TIMES tonight, then i would most likely not tell it in audio as a potential new podcast episode.
now that i have made 5 podcast episodes, i am trying to think of new stories i could tell there. my buddy Edy just sent me a new song and i’ve been putting his music together with my stories. the music is the only reason i think you can listen to them and while my podcast stories aren’t that great, they are a valid expression that i can spin a different angle on. they are a new way for me to make art. they are a new art form that is currently keeping me excited and inspired.

so i mention so much about not wanting to make the same art twice because the potter george ohr made the most amazing pottery i have ever seen and he did it in the year 1900. and mr. ohr would often brag and talk about how no two pots were alike and they were each unique works of art. and he would say this in the most unique way…
to quote him:

my wares, colors and creations are new to the world.

the twisted, crinkled clomerations in my art pottery stand alone on earth- i can not duplicate such myself.

i’ve been reading this book on the man and he has the strangest way of saying things and he makes up words like “clomerations.” what a great word. i relate to him in that i want to make everything new and different too. i want each pizza to be as unique and wonderful as each collage or painting or stained glass window i make. each blog post, bumper sticker, t-shirt, mural, sculpture, mobile, or podcast. i want the expressions to be unique. i hope that by practicing across different disciplines, i can learn new ways to stay inspired and excited about my days.

so now it’s quickly turning into late night. the saturday has turned to sunday and my kids are about as excited for tomorrows medieval fair as they were last christmas eve. they would choose the medieval fair over disney world i am pretty sure. the two of them agree on absolutely nothing 99.9% of the time. if one wants sushi, the other wants bar-b-q. if one wants to go to itchetucknee, the other wants to go to skate station. but i feel pretty sure that last time i asked them they both agreed they like the medieval fair better than disney. so i need to get my beauty rest and my wallet stuffed.

so looks like the mississippi story will have to wait. maybe i find space and time to tell it into the mic… make it into an episode of SatchCast, which is what i think i’ll call the podcast. dumb name but unfortunately it fits. since it’s just a project where i tell stories and be me.

you should really look at these……

oh, and this:

logo

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well well….

ok. here’s the crazy part. here’s the evidence that i am just a freak.
on january 16th, 3 days ago… i was so frustrated trying to figure out how to make a podcast that i was driving myself mad. i was getting all sorts of errors and i didn’t know how to edit and i couldn’t even begin. the next day i had a breakthrough and things started coming together. not that i really know how to do a lot, but i learned to import the tracks and raise the volume up or down, and edit the tracks slightly. i will take several long voice memos and before i am done i will have them broken up into 30 smaller bits. i wish i knew how to drag all those bits around at once instead of moving each one separately but i haven’t figured that out yet. but the crazy part is, is that as of right now i have 4 completed podcasts on my desktop. four!! the durations of these are 8 minutes, 13 minutes, 15 and 16 minutes. that’s the length i like. i am looking to make 15 minute episodes. and so i am happy that these first trials came out at a decent length….

i don;t know. i’m too close up on them to really know what i think. i know they are awful. i know they are pure embarrassments. i know they are raw and not real slick on the editing and production side. but they are also very much a product of me. they have that raw and ‘art brut’ sort of clumsiness. they are silly, slow, and intimate. i had originally thought if i could get 3 episodes together i could launch but now launching is not my goal at all. now i am curious if i can keep up the interest and content. i am wondering if this was a passing phase or if i’ll continue to want to make more of these. looking into the whole publishing thing seems daunting. i could maybe find someone out there to tutor me. but i’m not sure i want these to ever go live. they may be better as a personal storytelling thing that i put on a thumb drive for my kids to find one day. i have to wait and listen to them in a couple weeks to decide of i am strong enough to publish. brave enough.

the best part of the process was designing a podcast logo with my son. he’s so good at using the computer and he’s got a great eye for design too. so i tell him what i want to do and he makes it happen and adds his own flair. we have been working on the logo for a week at least. it’s gone through a few big changes but i am quite pleased with the final result. i love logos. i wish he and i could just sit around designing logos for money. that would be fun and fruitful. maybe there is a scenario where we can start a small design firm together. make logos for a low cost.
i was so amazed at how quickly he hits the keys and moves the mouse and deletes and changes gears….and when i say “how did you learn all this? is it just intuitive?” i love that he answers right away that he learned all this in the 6th grade. (he’s in the 7th now.)

so yeah. go from about to give the whole thing up to having 4 complete episodes as mp3 files with the custom logo as icons on my desktop – in 3 days time. i also added an 8 foot entryway trellis thing to my greenhouse and built a plant table to go outside my office window. i hung out with the family a lot. read a bunch of harry potter to my girl. i read the series to my son when he was about 9 or 10, and now my daughter wants me to read it to her. she can read great and is reading me the city of ember, but she’s really a lazy reader and prefers to listen to books on tape (by that i mean audible) or best of all have me read to her. if she had her way i think she would have me reading all day every day non-stop.

i want to build a boat house. a place to park the canoe, john boat, and paddle boat under a low tin roof where the rain won;t fill them up, they are easy to launch, and i don’t have to tip them over every time after the kids go out. i want to build a sauna. a small stone or wood sauna where i can do a sweat a couple times a year. seems like new years would be a good time for something like that.
i want to build a disco booth for the ATM at work, some new booths under the airplane, and revamp behind the stage. i have more projects in my head right now than even a long life on earth will afford me. but that’s ok.

i may be spending the next month trying to deal with my property line at work. making sure i have nothing floating over “the line.” this is a recurring theme for me, as i had a similar issue on the east side in 2012, and spent a couple hectic weeks trying to make sure i had nothing poking over “the line.” i am still dealing with the whole burglary thing. it is an ongoing problem. i may have pissed off the owner of the day labor across the street when i mentioned that i wondered if some of his laborers may be responsible. he used to come for a beer twice a week and ever since i joked with him he’s been absent…i’ve got a plan to get a new improved, much needed new kitchen floor at work but this will mean we’ll need to take all the equipment out. we would be working from saturday night at midnight until opening tuesday at 11 on something like that. stressful.

but i had a great 2 day weekend and made progress on my new hobby. that’s what i need to focus on now. how good today was. how much fun tomorrow may be. all the rest i just take as it comes. what goes around comes around so i’m sure i’m just getting what i deserve.

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podcast

i’ve had a breakthrough. the breakthrough was i figured out enough to get my recordings to the program and edit them. i was up way too late last night working on it, and again today for hours. i got through my first episode. it’s all there. i won’t say it’s good. but it’s a beginning. the only way to get good at something is to start somewhere and do it a lot. i’m not sure yet whether this first podcast will ever be published but i am satisfied i accomplished it. it feels like a medium i might enjoy. but the content will be hard to sustain. i would love to put out a weekly podcast. i don;t know if i can have enough to say every week that anyone would want to hear. we’ll see.

i looked at an article on publishing a podcast and it seems hard. the article said i need to buy a domain and install a plugin and a bunch of other stuff. i was hoping i could do this for free. i don’t know if i am ready to start spending money on this idea, buying a domain and building a website, etc. sheesh.

so i hope to make at least 2 or 3 more episodes and see if they get better, see if they hold my interest. if it goes well, i guess i could jump through the hoops. i’ll be here to tell you if it happens. i’ll be here to tell you i’m bailing out if i bail out. i’ll be here, after work usually, telling you all sorts of things.

i have a great aunt who seems to be close to death. she is a fireball of a woman. so fun and lively.

my kids both have friends staying over tonight. i will likely be still trying to get them to go to sleep at midnight.

work was good. people seemed happy. customers and employees. i felt a bit tired. not sure why. i slept good but i did stay up too late, but i did also sleep in late.

i am scared about launching the podcast. scared because i determined that the thing i like about podcasts is the intimacy they provide. since i listen every week i find i feel close to the host or hosts… there are intimate moments that i enjoy when something funny happens or things get emotional or personal. so i want my podcast to be an intimate personal experience. i want folks to feel like they get an inside look at my life. that is scary. terrifying really. thats why i am not sure if i can go through with it. it’s sort of like this blog here. a personal space that i make public. but it’s in my own stupid voice. i want to keep putting episodes together over the next couple weeks and see if it holds my interest. that’s it. thats all i got.

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a bit more

we got a new toaster at home. the old toaster was catching on fire too often. the new toaster is made by an english company i think. there is a setting for “a bit more.” so if your toast or bagel doesn’t look quite done you hit “a bit more.” around here we like to say that in an english accent as often as possible.
already this morning i have been following up with a couple of the charity donations we are involved in. we are giving $6000 to help a community clinic get off the ground in a poor SW neighborhood. the $600 will repave their parking lot. We are joining up with FM brewing to build picnic tables for PACE, which is a place for girls who are runaway or in need in some way, and these two projects are more time consuming than i expected.
the restaurant has been burglarized several times in the past months. they’ve stolen a lot of tools, all of the tools we had. they’ve come back later and gotten the one drill we bought to replace the stolen drills. they recently as last week got our brand new sound board and ipod plus a few other things. over $800 in the most recent event. this had me up at work on my day off, installing security cameras and another siren and just more security in general… chains, locks. etc.
got a text this morning already too that the cameras caught a guy last night going through the employee lockers taking some stuff and then peeing in a trash can. you see, we don’t have enough room in the building for all the employees stuff so we provide lockers in an outside fenced area. we keep paint and junk for decorating, some tools, tiles, lightbulbs… we have so much stuff to keep that crazy place going and there’s just no more footprint for sheds. but in any event, between the ongoing thefts, the potential encroachment nightmare on the horizon, the need for a solid night kitchen manager, and the everyday barrage of problem solving, my mind feels scrambled. oh, and theres the men’s bathroom which needs some big time work. i’ve called the plumber about tearing out the urinal and re-doing it. it’s always been too high and the floor is raised under it and we don’t know why, and it smells bad in there and it is time to fix that bathroom.
there’s been some oven problems too but the repair guy is always so busy…
i come here with this bit more just for unloading purposes. i am hoping that in unpacking all these things here i will be better at facing the challenges my friday will bring. i carry them around in the front of my brain but i know that writing or talking about them lightens them on my mind. its just a strategy i use. when you have as much going on as i do, you develop strategies.

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haha

haha. haha. so many things are funny? no. not really.

when i say haha i am being sarcastic.

i spent a few days trying to find my voice memos. the titles were all lost and i finally found them in an unknown album, unknown genre, with about 40 other albums. i listened to 87 voice memos that i had once named but that were now named by dates only…. and re-named them and organized them into an album called “podcast material.” i was surprised to realize and remember that i have already been telling stories and making voice memos since 2011. if you asked me i would have guessed i had 15 voice memos from the past few years…. but 87? wow.

i was pleased with myself. thought i was the smartest guy in america for finding that shit and putting it somewhere i might be able to access later.

then i was ready. let me import a couple things and learn how to edit this podcast down. haha. hahahahahahaha…
no such luck. i successfully imported a music and audio track. i wanted to add a live vocal track to introduce the material and the other tracks but kept getting the error that says, NO INPUT SOURCE SELECTED. i researched this phrase for 30 minutes with no luck. they would say things like, click so and so button on the top right, but that button was nowhere to be found. i narrowed my search to the past month and still got ZERO results in finding out how to choose an input source. i hooked up a microphone. got the same message about no input source selected. i spent some more time researching via google. got nowhere slow. later i go back and encounter the pop up, “cannot find layout general audio 10.” huh?

gave up.

came here to tell somebody.

so, heres the deal: i have not only 87 voice memos to cull from, but i have original music from my buddy edy sanchez. i have stories i found from years ago that just need light editing and an occasional narration…. but garageband remains a mystery after a half hour of frustrated research. i know i know, a half hour isn;t enough. but you have to know me. if i can’t learn how to record my voice in a half hour and i am about to have a heart attack…. i choose to give up over heart attack.

i watched youtube videos. following every step precisely. when the youtube video was recording? i was getting the message that i needed to choose an input source. in other words, i did the exact same thing as the video with a different result.

in other news:
corporate folks from our neighbor to the west made a surprise visit to gville and we encountered business cards and ties, wondering about how much we are encroaching on their property. surveys were consulted. i had left an hour before they arrived and returned 30 minutes after they left. the outcome of this visit is still unknown. we could be getting certified letters of complaint or there is always the chance, i like to believe and hope for, that other matters come up more important that make our situation less interesting and worthy of scrutiny. will there be liability issues for the neighbor? NO. i can promise that. will the lawyers want to make a stink and make my life and business most difficult? that is yet to be seen.
all i want is a chance to meet the owner and have a conversation. so far that option seems far from possible. it might be easier for me to meet Prince.

It is difficult to explain here the overwhelming responsibility and workload that seems to lie ahead. as a part of the giving committee i am heavily involved in making decisions to spend the excessive cash we have to give out. as an artist i am struggling with too many projects and the bleak prospect of learning to produce a podcast alone without technical skills and with a physical makeup that is so anti-computer. as CEO of a company i am constantly trying to figure out how to produce a better end product with fewer mistakes and less reliance on me every hour or every other hour. as brand manager i am trying to replace the LSE brush with a new product and keep up with the t-shirt stock and brand image. as the papa i am frantically engaged to keep children curious and asking questions and seeking answers. as husband i am interested in being a sufficient BFF, good listener, and solid provider.

i know that i will ultimately figure out how to use this program to make an audio file, but right now it seems so impossible.

i finally feel ready to start to produce episode 1 of the SatchCast podcast, but technical abilities keep me far far away from my goals. the demands on me from other places only grow in a seemingly exponential way. at some point i have to submit to allocating a few hours to the projects that are at the top of my priority list. sometimes i have to let things at the bottom fall off the priority list. my list can only be so long, not as long as some peoples and much longer than others. my list is on the spectrum. fortunately i have realized i can control my priority list. i learned quite recently that always saying yes is not an option. i learned that i can do about 70/30… 70% yes and 30% no. and those numbers fluctuate according to the number of requests and the length of my list.

if apple asked me i think i could explain to them exactly how to create a program that allowed anyone from a kid to a hick to create an audio file without frustration and deep research. the program could ask questions and walk them through the process without the blood boil and head pound that comes so quickly to me now. i find it quite amazing that they can make it so hard that folks like david pogue have to constantly write books with titles like “the missing manual for…” i have little doubt that the future will be a place where programs are so much easier and any 8 year old will be able to make a movie or a podcast without the burden of learning new programs. why? because the programs are ultra intuitive, they ask a series of questions that push the user to the desired simple experience. for example. the program could offer as one of the choices: “i want to make a podcast” and then allow me to easily add music, voice memos, and live recording. it could have a big button that says “EDIT AUDIO” where clicking there would let me easily trim parts or adjust the volume level. as it is, all of these things take hours of research. i am bombarded with messages like “choose audio input” and no obvious place to do this. no explanation of the command.

i enjoy spending my time considering all the ways i could improve google, apple, facebook, tesla, satchel’s, phones and houses. there is barely a thing in the world i don;t wish to fix. so i spend my time fixing the things i have control over and just wishing i had access to all the other problems.

its late. i’m hungry. tired. and ready to give up.

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2015

i have done half an hour research on how to produce a podcast and feel like i know HOW to record the thing. the problem is the content. i had an idea to meet with my friend renee and make a monthly show about ideas but now i am second guessing that. we made a lot of recordings over the recent holiday break, we even met in her office and recorded for 45 minutes. her man, aloe, was going to be the editor guy. we named it “dim it down.” i even got the artwork and logo ready. but now i’m just not sure.

obvioulsly as these things go, content is king. the better the content the better the response. while i think we could come up with some decent content, i don;t know if it would be good enough to be sustainable. or interesting. or really good.
so i kept thinking about this project and what i could do and how could it work. i realized that depending on a co-host that lives in another town and an editor who is busy and doesn’t seem 100% on board, was a bad idea. would i be bugging aloe every week? “hey, how’s the editing coming?” “what have you got? can i hear it?” and then i know myself. i would be like, “take this out and add this in…” and that’s just not the best way to go. so then i realized what might be the best way for it to work….
i could do it alone. talk. edit it myself, and bam. done. but then i realized the problem there. the content is king problem. what the hell can i talk about every week, every other week, or however often? i am not fond of my own voice. i don;t like telling stories at the storytelling night at my restaurant. i don’t have anything to say.

i thought about the following:
1. maybe telling stories of my life would be interesting and i sat down and wrote 10 stories in 1 minute that i could tell.
2. maybe it could be very intimate and soft. sort of a private moment with someone being vulnerable.
3. possibly its my fear of standing in front of people that keeps me away from the stage but telling a story in my own private space wouldn’t be as bad.

the truth is i don;t think i could pull it off. i have plenty of stories to tell but i am not generally a guy who likes to tell stories, at least out loud.
i don;t think i could talk about the restaurant world because the only way to make it interesting would be to tell stories about the employees or customers and i’m not about to do that. just talking about the ins and outs of running the place isn;t enough to build a show.

so i certainly haven’t given up on the idea but i am curious how to proceed. i think maybe there could be a time i felt ready to tell a story and i could try and record the story. then maybe if i did this 3 or 4 times and felt i could deal with making them public then i could launch the podcast. i am not sure i am ready to take on the work of recording interviews in the field, or trying to record conversations and bring them back home to edit. i only have so much time and so many hobbies i can accomplish and if i were out there getting stories and recordings to edit down i would quickly get overwhelmed because there are so many great podcasts already out there and i would be trying to learn it all from scratch. do something i am not inherently good at.

i have always wanted to make movies too. i spent a lot of time making a movie 7 years ago. it wasn;t very good. my camera work is awful and the story was just not great either. the editing was a horrific experience. i don;t want to get married to my computer again too much either. so you can see i’m torn. i’m always wanting to find new ways of expression. sculpture, writing, painting, collage, stained glass, carpentry, mobiles, furniture…. and movies and audio stories are something i would love to add to my list. the fact that i am bringing it up here is a positive step. for me, just talking about it is one way i bring it into existence and also the way i whittle down to the core of the project. the more i talk about it the more i figure out what it is i would want to say in a podcast… convey… express. getting others involved has advantages and disadvantages. ultimately i really like being in complete control. i have given up so much control at my restaurant and waiting on others to do things drives me mad. making a podcast myself is not unreasonable. it would (or should at least) be much easier than that stupid movie. we’ll see how the days and weeks pan out. i’ve decided i want to work on the stage at work, an ATM booth of sorts (a magical disco party booth where you go to get cash), and i want to improve the picnic area at work plus clean up the piles and piles of junk that need to be sorted and displayed there. work on the junk museum part of my workplace.

the podcast may be able to somehow get integrated into all that. i could always try and record things in my days and then put them together in a simple format. cull out the interesting bits from my week. talk about parenting, being an artist, or inspiration. hmmmmm

anyway, now you know. now you know as much or more than me about the satch-cast of 2015. if i wasn;t being called by my refrigerator i’d probably tell you more stuff.

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work

when it’s good it’s so good. but when it’s bad it tears me up.
most of the time its good and i write about that some and like to mention how happy and impressed i am that it is all so amazing. but tonight as one of those times when i got upset. nothing awful happened but it was a string of events. i was told about the ladies room faucet being broken for the tenth time. i had sent the item to the maintenance guy for repair but not followed up. the womens room faucet is still leaking. i have to take further action on that one myself. i had mentioned to the prep guy about filling all the dough trays and he assured me he always did but then i found many a dough tray not filled. 6 large doughs go in a tray but i keep finding trays with 2. i have been trying to buy more trays for weeks but can;t get anyone at the company on the phone during these holiday weeks. so i am frustrated that i can;t seem to buy more trays and frustrated that the trays we have aren’t even full. then the back bar ran out of pale ale and i know i had ordered pale ale so i start to chase that down. i find the pale ale later hooked up the the IPA tap. so we’ve been serving a pale ale as an IPA for a few days. not a big deal but it makes me mad. then a pizza gets made wrong for table D. we’re so backed up, so slammed, and when a pizza gets made wrong it slows us down even more. not only did the folks wait an hour for a table, but they wait 30 minutes for pizza and then it’s made wrong? so i go to table D to start to explain we messed up. then the pizza for table E is also made wrong. now i have to go talk to table E? who probably heard me talking to table D? and when i start to get mad in the kitchen and tell people to check their tickets and be more careful, i am catching flack. one guy is laughing at me and 2 others are telling me to stop getting mad. and of course this just makes me even madder. it’s my place, and the whole thing is on my shoulders and even if me getting stressed makes them more stressed, it’s my natural reaction to the events.

these sort of evenings just put me so off balance. they steal my peace and contentment. my heart hurts. i realize in the scheme of things that none of this is a big deal but it is just my personality to want it all right, efficient, smooth, and done MY WAY. people do not want to hear criticism. i know that we are bound to make some mistakes. we’re only human. i know things won;t always go right but somehow the mistakes and problems just stack up one after another and i just lose it. i’m a sensitive person. im an artist and i enjoy making art and making my world into the place i want it to be. i don;t enjoy losing my temper or having to apologize for mistakes too often, or having to be the boss and try and keep everyone on task.

having no night manager in the kitchen is part of the issue. the long term night manager we had moved to prep and this has left a hole in the night kitchen leadership role. there are a couple great guys who could do it but they are in school so they don;t work full time. so this means that i have to be the night manager and i just want to be the owner. i want to have a conversation with the night manager about how things should go and have him or her handle things. but it’s not as simple as that. i am not going to hire someone neto come in and manage so i have to find someone from inside. that person with leadership and skills and full time availability just has not surfaced. so its me. i may not love it but its my business and i do what it takes.

it’s late. i should not be writing but sleeping. i guess i thought coming here would help clear my mind for a better sleep. i don;t know that it worked. looking back up at my writing i see the problem of the semi-colon where the apostrophe goes. somehow as i learned to type i learned the wrong key for the apostrophe. i learned to hit the semi-colon button which is one key closer. i’ve tried many times to retrain myself and i’ve also tried to learn to capitalize but i keep going back to my old ways. no capitals and the often semi-colon placed wrongly in words like don;t.

oh, and my stupid iphone 6 broke too. the mute button quit working. and the thing is not that old. i called support and they want me to A. drive to jacksonville (1 1/2 hours) to the apple store or B. send it back to them for 7-10 days. i am pretty unhappy with apple. to me these are not great options. they should have a repair shop authorized in every small town. the apple computers have been duds for me and now the phone too? and the service? i do not see this company going up and up. i am thinking they are on the way down. let’s just hope that people eating at satchel’s are not having the same thoughts about my company.

running a busy restaurant can be so great and so hard. training people is tricky. its so hard to convey how everything should go and then follow up that everyone is doing it that way. how do servers answer customer questions? how much ricotta goes in a calzone? how big is the calzone supposed to be? how often do we check back on the table? how do we answer the phone? theres a million things i feel strongly about and i’ve written them all down and said them a hundred times and try to get everyone on the same page. it’s as if the beauty and the nightmare is the fact that the thing is bigger than me. it’s just out of my grasp and control. i can try to control the steps and procedures for every little thing, but i just can;t control everything and that’s ok. i want to control it at least enough to maintain our good reputation.

it’s so important that we all get 2 days off each week. even when shit hits the fan like it did tonight, there’s a couple days we all get to forget about it and do other stuff. when we come back on tuesday it feels fresh again. and new. i just wouldn;t do this if i had to be on call every day, or try to maintain the quality and performance 7 days every week. no, 5 is plenty.

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alex w startup

i’ve been pursuing a conversation with alex blumberg since i heard the first episode from the startup podcast and realized he was starting a podcast company. i’ve been working on an idea for the last year to build an app that allows users to donate to all of their favorite shows with a few clicks. you see, folks that listen to one podcast tend to find other ones and before you know it you might be listening to 10 podcasts in any given week. i’ve got the phone hookup to my car audio so there’s no radio playing or cd’s playing, only podcasts. in this way i listen to all the stuff i want to hear and can pause and pick it up later. but the problem is each podcast wants you go their site or kickstarter and give them money every so often. i have about 20 podcasts in my queue and if i could pick a single amount and spread it over the group then i would give to them all instead of just one or two here and there by accident. so i figured alex blumberg with his new company and startup capital, he could bring this idea into the world so much better than i could with my penpal programmer and a budget of zero.

i sent a few emails. and he noticed my pizza place website. he called to get my business origin story when i wanted to do was convince him that he should let me help develop a better way to fund podcasting. i’m still working on him though. i think i have spent way more time thinking about all this than almost anyone.

so after listening to the episode of startup where alex interviews me and mentions the satchel’s website, i noticed the counter on the website at a bit over 392k visitors. today i noticed it’s 395k, which is almost 3000 visitors in the last two days! we average about 150 hits a day, not 1500!

but i guess most of those folks won’t be eating our pizza anytime soon, or even getting my podcast funding app, giveback. but still it’s good to get my name out there, name recognition you know. i mean it can’t hurt. and maybe i can still get my podcast funding model some action somewhere.

its christmas eve. the kids have some friends that just came over and they are running around like kids on christmas. eating cookies. shaking presents.
the ducks lived through night #1 and C is now feeling guilty that we don;t have a coop for them. they seem really happy, playing in the pond. cleaning themselves and each other. i even found a duck caller whistle type toy at lightnin’ salvage last night and gave it to my daughter early so she can walk around making duck calls.

i made a loaf of fresh bread. it’s like cake it;s so good. especially warm, with soft butter. oh man. i love pizza and chocolate but fresh bread might just top both of those. the rain is coming down pretty good, on and off. the windows are open and the rain sounds and smells are breezing through the house, so nice.

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ducks

note: this story refers to my daughter and to C. C is my wife.

today i got 4 ducks. or 3 ducks and a drake i think i should say. my daughter turns 10 on christmas and she wants ducks. we’ve lived on this large pond for 13 years and i can’t remember ducks living around here for any long period. recently a neighbor has set a lot of decoys in the pond. maybe 20 decoys or so. i wish i knew more about all this. but i imagine the decoys are there to attract real ducks. i imagine the neighbor likes to shoot ducks? i did hear a gunshot ring out the other day…. what was that about?

anyway, i’m a sucker for my girl and so if she wants ducks then i’m getting her ducks. but then i remember the time we got baby ducks from the feed and seed, so many years ago. we hadn’t let them on the ground for a minute and they were peep peep peeping and squeaking away. 3 minutes later we saw the gator eyes pop up in the pond nearby. alert. curious gator eyes. it was like a cartoon. it was like the gator was saying, “did i hear some tasty baby ducks over here?”

these are 4 full grown ducks. raised in the country at a farm. raised to be eaten. i did not see a pond there. i saw chickens and geese and turkeys and a horse. but it’s a craigslist thing. they are selling ducks and i am there to buy ducks. we don;t ask a lot of questions and they don’t want to tell us their life story. the sign on the gate said “trespassers will be shot. ” oh great.

my thinking was like this:
my adorable wonderful daughter wants ducks.
i’ll get her ducks.
what kind should i get?
“don’t get muskogees!”

“pekings are fine”
so i got pekings.
$20 each.
3 females and a male
why get so many?
because i figured they’d have better survival chance as 4.

and so now i have these stupid ducks. quacking and huddling by my honda element. wondering where the hell they are and what is about to swoop in and eat them?
actually when they got out of their borrowed dog cage they went straight for the pond and then proceeded to look like they were in some sort of drug induced state as they washed and ducked and foraged and shook. we threw some cracked corn. they ignored it.
but the night has set in and they don’t know what the hell to do.

hell. i don;t know what the hell to do. i put some straw down for them to nest in but they don’t seem comfortable. i sorta chased them into the hay area but they seem unsettled and nervous.

so now i find myself online reading about how to raise peking ducks. but i get bored before i’ve read 5 minutes of material and assume the following:
they are ducks. they have a pond. they have a large area of hay up under the fallen oak by the pond. they should chill and sleep it off. go for a swim tomorrow.

as we watched them have what seemed to be orgasms when they found the lake, C comments, “they are taking to the lake like ducks to water” and i was like “Oh. that’s what the saying really means….”
and then later as we discussed the future of the ducks, the predators that are thick in the woods around our house, she brought up the phrase, “sitting duck” and i was like….. “OOOOhhhhhh…. that’s what the saying means…..”

maybe i should have thought the whole thing through more. maybe i should make a “pen” for the ducks to sleep in at night. maybe i should have taken a class on the care and management of backyard peking ducks. but somehow i just feel the glow of my daughters smile. i get the real big hug and the extra sparkle in her eyes, and then see the damn ducks take to water like a kid to doughnuts, and i feel like it was the right thing to do. she knows they may not last a week. she realizes that this whole thing is an experiment. the ducks are either in for the glory days of their life or the final moments. i wish i could take bets on the lot of them: jasmine, olive, magnolia, and lightning. the lady ducks were named before we even got there and the male named before we got off the dirt road towards home.

olive has a slightly deformed foot. but she gets around fine, but with a slight limp. C says she’ll be the first to go. C says the raccoons will eat the head and leave the rest of the body gory for me to clean up. what have i gotten myself into here? could C be right? let’s just hope they all live through christmas. it’s only 2 days away.

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forgiveness

dang. with a title like that you would think i would have a big story to tell you.
but i don’t. it’s just the first thing that came to mind.

i make mistakes like everyone does. i say stupid shit and regret it later. i talk bad about someone when i shouldn’t. i hold grudges now and then and i am selfish.
i yell at people i should be thanking. i thank people i should be yelling at. whatever it is, i do dumb stuff sometimes.

but i also get to feel forgiven. i know that sounds weird and it is, but hear me out. growing up learning this christian faith, there were some major themes that came from that. forgiveness is one of the biggest themes i learned. God forgives our shortcomings so we can really LIVE… and we forgive others that wronged us. simple.

but also this understanding has me forgiving myself. when i do stupid stuff and make mistakes i regret, i try to not dwell on them longer than i should, but forgive myself. you know, in the “i can’t change the past but only the future” sort of way and i move on. i consider the mistake enough to hope and plan to correct it in the future, and i eventually let it go and try harder. part of that may just be the religion i grew up learning but the other part is just decent upbringing. kids learn so much from their parents.

work. i give it my all but lately my all has been sorta thin. thin because the majority of my energy was focused back on my family. i think of it sorta like the stained glass windows i make. i spend a few months filling in a section of windows in my studio…. then months later when i make time, i spend months working on a set of windows for the greenhouse, then i plan a few months and focus on glass windows at the restaurant. then back to the studio etc. i think i’ve had 2 big swipes at each of the three locations and i’m about to start a third round at the restaurant again. it’s the same with my energy in general. i may spend months with my head in my job and then months with my head in my home. the balance is rarely fine tuned. it’s more blaring this way or that for a spell.

C is constantly fine tuning my energy as only a best friend could. shaking her head but also showing me the right direction in a silent sort of way, an unconscious way. never pushy. without that keel i would be off on a wild tangent for sure, forgetting the great laughs along the way.

having our parents close is a gift we enjoy.
it’s a gift for our kids – they can’t even realize yet.
having success in work and home is a gift i can’t even realize yet.
i think maybe forgiveness is easier for me to grasp than gratitude.
gratitude just breaks me down to dust.

and why is it that someone reading the blog reminds me to write in the blog? someone reading the blog scares the hell out of me because i know i say anything that pops in my head half the time. someone telling me they read the blog always has this strange effect: my first reaction is i want to run and hide and act like i didn;t really write any of that stuff but some other guy hacking me did. because i have no idea what i wrote and imagine whatever it was it must sound ridiculous to any sane person. and then later i feel guilty. guilty for not writing more, for not expressing more of my behind the scenes mania. and get this: i even feel guilty for not having a better story to tell or something more worth saying. for not giving readers more content to absorb more often. so i feel terribly bad that i have exposed my soul to the world but also guilty for not giving them better and more frequent material. there’s a deep problem there i’m stuck with. it’s the dichotomy thing that i am so obsessed with. dichotomies. i want to be a hermit who talks to everyone all the time. i want to hide in my shell but hope you notice me. i want my paintings to yell and scream but with the quietest of a whisper. i want to tell my story to the world but i don’t want anyone to listen.

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no lie

i spent the last 2 hours writing one of the longest and most personal posts i have ever written. i knew i had said too much and gone too far. i was worried about how much i revealed about myself and my state of mind. i went to preview the post, think about it, decide if it was too much or not…. and i got a strange screen pop up. something to the effect of “are you sure you want to do this?” and i said yes. but i think it was asking me if i was sure i wanted to move to another screen and lose all my writing. at the time i did not understand what it was asking me. but it’s gone. the post is gone. the entirety of my feelings and emotions was poured into the void. i feel fine with that. i think i would have liked to look back on all that one day and it would have been good to decipher my personal state, but it wasn’t meant to be. i feel certain that everything happens for a reason. lots of times the reasons are beyond my human comprehension. i gladly accept that. in accepting that i accept my own humanity and the imperfect reality of computers. there is no reason my writing should have ever been wiped out like that. even now it looks as if it saves a draft of my writing every couple minutes. if that is so then why is the 2 hours of writing completely gone?

it is not new to me. it happens more often that is believable. it has something to do with my energy. my anti-computer energy.

almost 2am. good night.

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