Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Families, eh!


What Bill said.

Over the last school holidays, I had the chance to spend a week with The Boy doing…umm…boys’ stuff.

Nothing that spectacular; a visit to the National Sports Museum, a boat on the river, a hit of mini-golf, the sort of stuff you can do when it’s sunny outside.

The good thing is that The Boy is still very keen to have both his dad and his mum involved in his life, to the point where he passed up the opportunity to have dinner at a mate’s place because “he was lonely for his mum and dad”.

I know this won’t last and it shouldn’t last. They grow up and they grow away. That’s how you get the next generation of adults. But it’s nice to have these sorts of memories, something I never really had with my own dad.

Bill Murray in Lost in Translation said something like, “when your kids are born, it’s terrifying because you know nothing will ever be the same, but they learn how to walk and they learn how to talk and they become the most fascinating people you’ll ever meet”.

So far, he’s spot on the money.

I apologies for the revolting level of mawkishness in this post. The next one will be full of abuse and sarcasm, possibly involving Tony Abbott.

And/or owls.

30 comments:

Kettle said...

Nice, Ramon.

Some of the things you've written about your son have been the most memorable, like your description of the 'confederacy of small boys' at some playground, and a time when you and The Boy crouched behind your front bushes (or similar vegatation) waiting to leap out at people (like tigers?).

Nice.

Kettle said...

PS I don't mean that in a stalky way, I just have a pointlessly good memory for other people's anecdotes.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Thanks Kettle, glad you liked it.

Kettle said...

*vegetation*

Mercy!

Hey I'm procrastinating. Anyone got any news? Just generally? What's tricks?

Alex said...

Don't apologise, Ramon. The mawkish stuff balances the sarcastic stuff nicely.

I've had a copy of Lost In Translation for about six or seven years. Must really get around to watching it.

Hey I'm procrastinating. Anyone got any news? Just generally? What's tricks?

Hmmm, not so much news, but here goes:

• I'm raising the white flag on Witchy's tattoo idea and calling it impossible until I see evidence to the contrary. I might doodle some unicorns this evening.

• The other day I went shopping and they had a huge display of "halloween pumpkins" (the orange ones you usually only see on yank tv shows) that people could buy and take home to carve into jack-o-lanterns. Fuckin' hell. Fuck off, halloween!

• I'm getting sick of hearing people talk about how much of a technical genius Steve Jobs was. As far as I'm aware, he didn't write any of the code or design any of the components that went into any of the Apple devices that everyone loves so much. He was a good business man and had some good ideas - the end. (and on a related note - I can still buy new CDs from Amazon and have them shipped to me from America cheaper than I can download them on iTunes. Fuck you, Apple.)

Hope that helps.

Melbourne Girl said...

Lost in Translation is one of my favourite movies and I adore Bill. I think your relationship with The Boy is special Ramon and rare'ish, and I think you need to make the most of it, as it seems you are. They grow up so fast and when they are little, they are just so little.

I'm also over the whole Jobs thing. I mean, really. Memorials?

In other news, I have a pic of a topless Marieke on my blog. (Who's sounding stalkerish now, Kettle?)

And by the way, is our beer get-together on?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

It was a crime that Bill didn't get an Oscar for that film, melbs.

A CRIME!!!!!!

*Shakes angry fist at an uncaring sky*

Alex said...

Actually, Ramon, I've been turning this bit over in my head:

They grow up and they grow away. That’s how you get the next generation of adults.

In all my life I've never once felt properly "grown-up" in the way that I used to imagine adults were supposed to feel.

Anyone else in this boat, or is it just me?

patchouligirl said...

Totally get where you are coming from Ramon. Right now my 4 yr old wants to sleep between us every night and I don't mind being kicked every now and then because I know one day he won't want to know us. I suppose only having one child I feel that every part of the experience is a once only opportunity. I took him to the beach that warm day we had about a month ago and he spent 3 hrs being chased by the waves. Love lost in translation too.

squib said...

Second week of school holidays here - haven't done much as we are selling our house and that involves endless cleaning and weeding and a sort of parallel existence where I have Home Open towels and normal towels and Home Open toothbrushes and a special Home Open fruit bowl with honest- to-God bananas on top

I have managed to thrash my children at scrabble countless times and we have gone to the zoo but overall I think they would JUMP at the opportunity to go to a mate's place

squib said...

PS. Alex, those Halloween pumpkins are excellent. They are soft inside and easy to hollow out. I did one last year. I was all anti-Halloween when BigSquib was growing up but now I see how much the kids enjoy it I can't begrudge them although I cop some flak from BS cos she grew up under my Halloween ban and she blames me for those lost trick or treating years

Mr E Discharge said...

I'm getting sick of hearing people talk about how much of a technical genius Steve Jobs was

Alex,
Don't confuse the hype with the man. I had the privilege to get to know Steve when I was designing AV for the pilot exhibits at the Hypertech Center in San Jose in the late eighties. We did a couple of video shoots with Steve and Woz, focusing on the early days in the Jobs Family Garage. Afterwards we were all invited to have dinner at Bill & Flora Hewlett's place.

The group dynamic at the Dinner party was a joy to behold.

We'd spent three day's with these guys in their role of technology and business gurus, then we saw them in the presence of their teenage mentors. Bill Hewlett had been guiding Steve's development since he was 12. Bob Grimm, who was personally funding the museum project, gave Woz his first real job out of college while head of R&D at HP was also present.

The human side of all was clearly visible. Much love, much affection, much humility, much respect, Breathtaking.

Steves unique ability was to be able to visualise something never before thought of, fully formed in his mind, mentally disassemble it to its component parts and issue clear and direct instructions to the people he'd hand picked to implement each aspect. Try it sometime.

To bring this back on theme with Comrade Ramon's post, I present a post from my iFriend Tengrain which to me captures the essence of Jobs the Man as opposed to Jobs the Legend.

..... really, the story is about Steve Jobs. I used to see him every weekday morning when I was commuting to the Big Database Company.

The Caltrain would pull into one of the Palo Alto Stations, and Steve Jobs would be there with his kids, all of them usually on beat-up bikes; he would be disheveled in sweats, unshaven, bike helmet akimbo, looking like every other schlub dad. He would give them a kiss on the forehead (lifting up the bike helmet) and put them on the train (with their bikes) and wave until the train left the station.

(I remember the moment I witnessed the kids of the powerful and wealthy act embarrassed when Dad kisses them in public. I laughed watching the exaggerated wiping away the kiss, and the look of resentment. I swear I could lip-read “Stop it! You’re embarrassing me!”)

The morning I had my first iPod (first generation, the one which was about the size of a deck of cards, weighed a ton and had a mechanical click-wheel you physically had to turn — I still have it, BTW), and I held it up in the window of the train and gave Jobs a grin and a thumbs-up. He actually lit up like a Christmas tree, grinned and gave me a thumbs-up back.

If I did not have the iconic white ear buds in my ears when the train pulled into the station, he would frown until I put them on, and then he’d smile. I upgraded at some point to a Nano; he applauded when I held it up in the window.

And so it went.

In the end there will be the official hagiography, the mystical legend of an aloof genius. The stories of the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field are already overblown, and his uncompromising business sense are already being studied. It will be the story of Steve Jobs that will be dissected in business schools, another generation of entrepreneurs hoping to somehow catch the tail of the comet, and not a word of it will matter, or be true.

Jobs was a good dad, always there with his kids. He was a captain of industry, riding a bike (not a limo) to the public train station to see his kids off to school every morning. He was involved in their lives and not just in a superficial “quality time” kinda way. He was the kind of guy who took the time to give a stranger a thumbs-up, delighted to see that his devices were being used, and delighting us. You cannot teach that in business school.

I think that Jobs was pretty cool.

Posted in Dead Celebrities, Heroes


Vale.

Alex said...

Mr E:

Steves unique ability was to be able to visualise something never before thought of, fully formed in his mind, mentally disassemble it to its component parts and issue clear and direct instructions to the people he'd hand picked to implement each aspect.

He was a very good businessman who had some very good ideas.

Undoubtedly, it could have been better aimed, but the bile is not for Jobs. It's meant for the Apple cultists, celebrity funeral fetishist and everyone else who seems to be invested in building a mythology -- especially the ones who should know better.

In the end there will be the official hagiography, the mystical legend of an aloof genius. The stories of the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field are already overblown, and his uncompromising business sense are already being studied. It will be the story of Steve Jobs that will be dissected in business schools, another generation of entrepreneurs hoping to somehow catch the tail of the comet, and not a word of it will matter, or be true.

Don't know about anyone else, but I'm pleased to have read that. Do you think you or your mate would mind very much if I passed it on to others? So much more thoughtful and eloquent than the snakey shit I'm capable of.

Much like Ramon, Mr E, I reckon I'd find you fascinating to listen to after you've had a few beers. If you don't mind me asking, what was your impression of Woz twenty years ago?

Squib:

now I see how much the kids enjoy it I can't begrudge them

Can't we bring back cracker night instead?

And you don't let LittleSquib call the takings "candy", do you?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Can't we bring back cracker night instead?

Shit yeah!

The opportunity to blow stuff up was AWESOME!!

Kettle said...

Alex for Witchy's tattoo I'm imagining something that looks like Malevich's black square painting, shrunk down to one centimetre square. Witchy didn't say the names had to be legible, did she? Solved (you're welcome).

Hey Melbs, have you seen Marieke's profile shot on facebook? Boobies and legs everywhere!

And our beer get-together, definitely on. Just organising with my parallel travelling buddy when we're coming down. Possibly late Nov now since I've got tix to see 'Summer of the Seventeenth Doll' here in Sydders for my birthday the first weekend of Nov. Ooh!

Squib, Alex and Mr E, I don't understand pumpkins or Steve Jobs.

wari lasi said...

Been rather quiet here ...

Nice post Ramon, long may you continue the close relationship you have with your lad.

Bad news in PNG today. Absolute havoc to try to get anywhere by plane. 28 people doesn't sound much but I know the pilot and almost everyone I know knows someone or has someone working for them who was related to someone on board.

squib said...

And you don't let LittleSquib call the takings "candy", do you?

My standards haven't slipped that much, Alex

Melbourne Girl said...

I enjoyed your post Mr E. It's important to be reminded that Jobs wasn't a cardboard cut out, and was a real man. But you have to see that unless you are privy to a story like that, all the rest of it (the fetishisation, as Alex called it) that's been going on by people who didn't know him and just choose to worship the technology is a bit silly?

Mr E Discharge said...

Don't know about anyone else, but I'm pleased to have read that. Do you think you or your mate would mind very much if I passed it on to others? So much more thoughtful and eloquent than the snakey shit I'm capable of.


It was only after I read your comment that I realised that I had commited the sin of not getting permission before posting TGs post, so I dashed off a quick Mea Culpa asking for his retrospective blessing. He was delighted with the post and gave permission to post to others. So post away!

Tengrain runs a US political snark blog called Mock, Paper, Scissors, a diferent form of snark to what we're used to in this place, they tend to punctuate the comments using fullstops and commas rather than using our preferred literary devices like "You fucking Cunt!" etc.

Much like Ramon, Mr E, I reckon I'd find you fascinating to listen to after you've had a few beers.

All the more reason, come the end of November to get your arse on fucking plane! Tiger have some really cheap flights, what could possibly go wrong?

Kettle's coming all the way from Sydney and I can't understand why anyone would pass up an opportunity to not be in Queensland, even if only for a day or two.

If you don't mind me asking, what was your impression of Woz twenty years ago?

We didn't get on. Kinda. He was very much Woz, as advertised. Funny Guy, Clever, Brilliant technician, very typical of the kind of people UC Berkeley & Stanford were turning out at that time. You got the strong impression that he thought the fact that they'd made such a huge pile of money was completely hilarious and the only remedy was to spend it as quickly and as emigmaticly as possible.

Apple were a bit miffed that we'd got the contract. At first they'd offered a bunch of resources to "help" us convert our software to run on a Mac. My opinion that the Mac just wasn't up to it was not well received. Later when the museum announced thay were having our system on display as a working exhibit, things got a little frosty.

Under any other circumstance, he'd be exactly the kind of guy I would have loved to spend an evening of techno-chat over a couple of bongs, but alas.

Alex said...

Squib:

My standards haven't slipped that much, Alex

Phew. If you're selling the house, does that mean no more galleon? I don't know how EMS will take that.

Kettle:

Witchy didn't say the names had to be legible, did she?

She did, in fact. I've even tried spelling out words in the white-space of other words, but no dice. Thanks for trying, though.

Sadly, no time for doodling over the last few days. Bubby nephew has been in and out of hospital and I pulled baby-sitting duty for the siblings again (kids are hard & exhausting).

Wari:

Sorry to hear that. At least it sounds like your mate is going to be okay.

Mr E:

All the more reason, [...] to get your arse on fucking plane! [...] what could possibly go wrong?

Um, please tell me that's not a crack at Wari's expense (maybe it's a poor reflection on me that my mind even went there).

they tend to punctuate the comments using fullstops and commas rather than [...] "You fucking Cunt!" etc.

Weird -- but I thank him for the permission; very nice.

Also, It's been brought to my attention that Dennis Ritchie kicked the bucket last week. As co-creator of both Unix and C, it could easily be argued that he did more to shape the tech landscape than Jobs (not a put-down for Jobs) but I notice his death has not been consumed by a circus of bullshit. This is as it should be.

You didn't ever work with him, did you, Mr E?

Mr E Discharge said...

Um, please tell me that's not a crack at Wari's expense (maybe it's a poor reflection on me that my mind even went there).

It's moments like this that make me think that all those rumours about me being an insensitive cunt may not be entirely without basis.

I was referring to Tigers recent grounding for safety violations. Didn't even think of Wari's post.

Sorry Alex. Sori Wari.

squib said...

If we move, no more galleon, Alex. Maybe we can rustle up something else for EMS, a fiberglass sputnik or something

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Fiberglass sputnik!

Fiberglass sputnik!

WitchOne said...

Loved your post Ramon, not on the mark lately and missing most things. I'd like to blame life but I think the amount of work I've been doing lately to escape said life is a contributing factor and should be acknowledged as such.

I envy your time with The Boy, sounds like you guys have an awesome time.

Squib, selling? Wow. I just listed a couple of properties that took weeks to get to market, it's amazing how dirty some people are. I say this because I'm sure you're a real estates dream and can dust and make things look nice without requiring a 6 week cleanout of utter shit beforehand.

Alex, what DGL?? Prettily... Is that doable? Do you think? L's name is a mouthful I know. Or even if it had to be bigger and I had it on my shoulder or something? Anything to make it work?

Steve Jobs.. Most people I know had iPhone issues just after he died and I wonder, can we have psychosomatic electronic issues because we think we should?

Halloween.. Good God, Halloween! The people that call it American shit me the most.

Must run, it's late, I'm still working, c'est la vie.

Mr E Discharge said...

I'm still working, c'est la vie.

Well Witchy, no you're not. You're at Work but you're posting comments on a totally unrelated blog. There's a difference.

WitchOne said...

Well, actually, if you want to get all precise and whatnot, I was on the phone with a client whilst posting the above. So ner, I was. still. working.

Alex said...

Witchy: In regards to the new criteria for the tatt -- I'll see what I can do. In related news, those of you who haven't lost interest in looking at unicorn doodles can do so here.

Kettle: What's the name of that autism charity you mentioned a while ago. The Chrissy charity fund is looking pretty healthy this year and I reckon I can probably swing them a few bob.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

My God Alex, that first one is magnificent!

Makes me want to join the Communist Party of Unicornia.

Mr E Discharge said...

My God Alex, that first one is magnificent!

Seconded!

Alex said...

Thanks Ramon, Mr E. Be sure to post pictures once they've healed up, okay?

Thanks also to Kettle for suggesting I do this. If I hadn't been looking for reference pics, I never would have discovered the new My Little Pony cartoon. It's fabulous. Kids love it too.