Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Vacation, CDs, Drones, Etc

  • I still have a new book out. https://amzn.to/3r4c2KG
  • I am on vacation from writing for a bit. I don’t want to get into the next thing, and want to take some time off. But I am also going stir crazy not writing every day, and the last time I took more than a few weeks off, it suddenly turned into like ten years. It’s really hard to build up momentum again when you come to a dead stop.
  • I am still hopelessly addicted to http://astronaut.io. I think I could watch it for hours.
  • I realized yesterday that I completely missed the CDs-in-cars era. The two cars I had in Seattle from 95-99 had tape players, and on longer trips, I’d sometimes use a cassette adapter to play a MiniDisc in it. Then I didn’t have a car from 99-07. We bought two cars in Denver in 07, and both of them had CD players, but by then, it was all about the iPod with the built-in aux port. I think the entire time I had the Yaris from 07 to 14, I used the CD player maybe twice. So I never had those CD holders that went on the sun visors.
  • My Kinesis keyboard from 2011 is starting to randomly die. It’s no wonder, after eating pretty much every meal at the computer and typing millions of words with it. I used to get about a year or two out of the old Microsoft keyboards, so ten isn’t bad.
  • The Jimi Hendrix estate put out an official release of the Maui bootleg from 7/30/70. (Here) I’ve had another version, but this one sounds much better, and has the song order fixed. The original audio is fairly bad, and there were high winds that made the various bootleg versions mostly useless. This one sounds much better. Here’s a longer review of it on pitchfork. I’ve enjoyed the live work from that last tour the best, because it’s when he was sick of the hits, and more into the long jams, which makes you wonder what that unfinished fourth album would have sounded like.
  • Every time we go to Maui, we always go to this place called the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. The Hendrix shows were at the A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center. The two are about six miles apart, and one could double for the other if you were filming a docu-drama and were careful about your blocking and angles.
  • I am not going to Maui this year. Not going anywhere, but that’s obvious. I have almost two weeks off, but will be here, probably watching youtube.
  • I bought a drone. A DJI Mavic Air 2. It is very easy to fly, except finding an actual place to fly it. There are a lot of airspace restrictions, and then various parks and private property are also off-limits. I had to register the drone with the FAA, and it uses GPS so it’s locked off from flying in various places. Like during the forest fires, they geofenced off areas where first responders were. And you can’t fly by the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • I’ve been flying a few times around Alameda, near the old Navy base. I’ve shot a lot there, but I’m still learning, so the footage isn’t great. It’s surprisingly good, though. With the gimbal pointed forward, it looks like a sweeping crane shot. With the gimbal down, it looks like the spy satellite or drone footage from an action movie.
  • I’ve been obsessed with this dumb idea of taking the play history out of Apple Music (somehow) and feeding that into a lightweight CMS of some sort so I could scribble down various notes on songs, like as a journal or blog of sorts. I’m not sure how I’d get this to work, and I doubt it would be very interesting. Plus the minute I got it scripted or programmed, Apple would break whatever API I used and it would stop working.
  • I heard they are going to tear down Brownstone apartments in Bloomington and put up some gigantic thousand-unit townhouse compound or something. My memory of Brownstone is that me and Larry went there once to go to some girl’s party. The place was typical stadium-adjacent student ghetto housing and was falling apart 25 years ago. Larry ripped out whatever techno dance thing was in the tape player and put in the GG Allin album Hated in the Nation. Everyone was watching a Pauly Shore movie. One of the girls there said she watched Forest Gump every day for a year straight, and she loved him so much she wanted to date a man with an Intellectual disability.
  • I also remember that when my car blew up three days before I was to move across the country in 1995, I turned down 14th street and pushed the car for about a block to get out of traffic, and I ditched it overnight right in front of the same apartment complex.
  • You can’t fly a drone anywhere on the Bloomington campus. The airspace of the entire area is shut down by the university unless you have a special permit, and I imagine they don’t hand them out to anyone.
  • I need to lay off the Bloomington stuff before I suddenly decide I want to write another book about college.
  • I can’t believe it’s only Thursday. It feels like this week has been seventeen days long.
  • I also can’t believe Christmas is in a week. This will be the first Christmas I’ve ever spent in California, which is weird considering I’ve lived here since 2008.
  • It has been 46 and dreary and raining on and off, and I guess that’s winter now.


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