Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Four days off

Ah, four days off. Bliss. And no real plans at all, except that we’re going to an Indian restaurant for lunch, and making pizza at some point. I gave up on trying to do anything more complex on Thanksgiving years ago. The first issue is the difficulty in traveling anywhere further than down the block – airlines are fucked up, ticket prices are double, and people are sleeping in airports. Get in a car and point it in any direction in or out of any city, and it’s a parking lot. There’s also the issue that I’m not a to-capacity eater, and I’m not that into turkey. A piece is fine, but I couldn’t eat a pound of it over a six-year period. So I give thanks that my last big Thanksgiving was a million years ago.

The zine is done. Makes a great holiday gift. Just putting that out there.

I haven’t thought about what’s next writing-wise, and I’ve been wasting most of my time playing Flight Simulator on my laptop. I have the 2004 version, but they just came out with Flight Simulator X, the new one. I downloaded the demo of it, and it barely ran on my computer. It likes a machine that’s twice as everything as my current one, so I won’t be upgrading soon. It’s too bad, because they have a neat ultralight to fly, and they did a ton of stuff to juice up the terrain. The stills on the MS site look incredible. Of course, they were probably done on a $15,000 machine.

My ability to fly in FS2004 is getting better. Landings are problematic, although I can usually make the landing once I get the approach, which is almost never. I’ve learned a lot more about navigation and air traffic control, though. I’ve made hops across Florida, from Oahu to Maui, from Indianapolis to South Bend, and from Chicago to Elkhart, without hitting another plane or pissing off ATC too much. I imagine this kick will grow old in another weekend or so, and I’ll be torturing myself over what I should be doing, writing-wise.

The QWERTY keyboard was invented in Milwaukee. I never knew that, but I’m looking at a bunch of newspaper articles and unopened bills on my desk, and I just read that. Weird. Christopher Sholes patented the typewriter (with two others) in 1868 and later sold the rights to Remington for $12,000.

Not a lot of reading lately. I read through a lot of the zine, then picked up a WWI book, but it turns out it’s written by a British guy, and 30 or so years ago, and it’s in microscopic print, so it’s impossible to read. Today I started the Albert Goldman bio on John Lennon, not because I’m that enamored by Lennon, but because Goldman was slagged and discredited for his bio, which showed a lot of negative shit about Lennon that people didn’t really want to hear. For whatever reason, if you’re going to write a bio and you want me to read it, that’s the thing to do.

OK, time for bed.