March 1st 2017
[ Guitar Music ]
It’s been a long while since I’ve seen your face.
A spell too long since I’ve set in one place.
But right when I start settlin’ down,
The need comes strong, and I turn right round.
Cause the way is clear, my friend.
And I’ve got that urge again.
Slide into gear, jump, hit the drift.
A change of scene, a perspective shift.
And I’m far from home, my friend.
Don’t know when I’ll be back again.
Got a whole wide ’verse to see,
But you’re always here with me.
[ Music Stops ]
I don’t think it’s possible for my face to get any redder than it is right now, but there you go. Hopefully that’ll keep those who keep asking for progress reports on my burgeoning musical indulgence. And for those of you haven’t heard me play before, that bit of foolery was my attempt at creating a Far From Home theme song of sorts. The chorus still needs some work, but I’m a bit happier with the melody than the last time I played it for you. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually finish it this year.
Been teaching myself how to guitar for on about fifteen or so months now. Decided to start learning after I had picked up a pretty well-worn six string off a scrapper who was not quite as adept at trigger as he thought he was. That’s a tip for you there right there. Always play for barter. You start playing for credits and things will eventually get heated. But when the stakes are some piece of whatever, I find that everyone comes away from the table happier. Take for example the losing game I had a few months back. Sure, I was a little sad to see my Lords of the Winter Court book set go, but at least I know it has a good home.
It was nice to finally be able to mess around with the guitar again, seeing as I haven’t really had time to think straight, let alone play since the new year. You might remember me saying how I like to hustle hard at the top of a new year, set myself up in case of trouble down the road, but let me tell you, 2947 has been busier than most. Not to complain about good fortune coming my way, but I’ve been so busy since Traveler’s Day that I’ve actually had to turn down jobs, if you can imagine that. It felt damn good when I finished that run to Baker last week. Right now, I’ve got a few small drops out to a refinery in Horus, and then after that I’m thinking about taking my shingle down off the boards for a few days. Almost forgot what my hold looks like empty. I might even go check out what’s happening on Serling. Haven’t touched down there in about a decade, so it’s probably about time for another visit. If any of you have some recommendations on what’s worth a look these days, shoot me a comm when you can.
Speaking of comms, along with my music making, I’ve been letting my correspondence fall to the wayside. Apologies on that. I’ve picked out a couple that caught my eye to answer today, but I will try my best to respond to whatever else I can this weekend.
First up we got — wait, where the hell did it go? Damn Glas update changing all my preferences … Improve my experience my ass … Okay, here we go. Have a question from Stace who wanted to know, “I’ve been hearing about people going zero-g for the power savings on their systems. What do you think?”
Stace actually wasn’t the only one to ask me about this. I guess there was an article in Long Haul last month that’s got everyone excited. I looked over the numbers and yeah, they might make sense on the screen, but honestly I think any power savings you get is going to be gobbled up by your loss in sanity. For me, the less time I spend in zero-g, the better. It’s hard enough out here without having to deal with floating around the whole time. I mean, I guess maybe as a solo flier you could turn it off most of the time, and then boot the gennie back up when you want to take a shower or something. I don’t know. Maybe I’m too attached to gravity for my own good. I’d say just go ahead and try it for a week, Stace. See what you think. If you love it, go ahead and rip the gennie out.
Next we got a comm from Tanner, who was kind enough to ask, “Any advice for investing credits when a windfall comes your way?”
I figured this was a good one to answer since I’m coming off my busy season right now, and have a bit of extra creds to think about myself. There are a few standard items that I like to check off my list whenever I’m flush. First thing first, I make sure my insurance for the year is paid off. If I fall on hard times later I never want to have to decide between covering Shana and eating something, so I take that question off the table and rest a bit easier knowing she’s covered. After that I have two main funds that I dump any extra creds I have floating around into. Mind you this is after all my normal monthlies are paid for. First is my emergency repair fund. I know that sooner or later, something’s going to break, so I try to have about three quarters the cost of an engine repair stored up at any given time. It usually ends up being a cheaper part or fix than that, and so I just add enough when I have it to top it back off.
The second account is my ‘Guilt Free’ fund. This is probably the greatest gift anyone can give themselves. I never keep more in here than I’d mind lending to a friend, and I use the credits to pay for anything stupid that my little heart fancies. Like on my upcoming trip to Serling I know I’m probably going to splurge and buy myself one of those new reactive-gel seat cushions they’ve been advertising the crap out of everywhere. Do I really need one? Not really. My old cushion is pretty comfortable still. Do I desperately want one for no good reason? You bet. And thanks to the credits rolling around in my Guilt Free fund, my butt’s about to get itself an upgrade.
Now, this next comm is a bit more serious. It seems one of our fellow flyers out there is having a rough time dealing with the solitary confinement that comes with traveling long stretches by yourself. As they describe it, their “mind is beginning to crawl into the drift” and they’re looking for some advice on crawling back out.
You have my sympathy on that, my friend. I know for damn sure I’ve been in that same spot. Think probably a lot of us have. Happens to anyone who flies alone out here long enough. It’s those quiet moments when all your work for the day is done. You want to shut your brain off, but you just can’t. There’s nothing good on the spec or maybe there’s not even a relay out where you’re floating. So you wind up staring out into the darkness, and that’s when the darkness starts wiggling its way in.
Let me say this first before I give any of my personal advice. Never hurts to take the time to talk to a professional. There’s usually one or two in the system available to take a comm. But if that’s not an option, or you’re looking to tackle things yourself, the main thing I’d say is don’t attempt to fix things with getting high or drunk. Trying to numb your way out is just jumping straight to nowhere good. Now, I ain’t judging, I’ve tried it myself. If you’ve been tuning in to me for any length of time, you’ve probably heard a story or two about me hitting the bottle. And while sometimes I was drinking to celebrate, a lot more often it came from a place of pain. That’s my vice of choice, but there’s plenty more out there. I know far too many people with black spider webs crawling up their arms or that faraway look only discons get. Hell, just last month I heard about a woman who dismantled her own life support system while wacked out on that new stuff, Flow.
I mean, did you see that young fella — what’s his name? — Cass? Did you see him try to walk down the red carpet last week? Couldn’t even manage that. Now try to picture yourself like that, but you got to fix a coolant leak or a blown thruster. Not good. I probably would have ended up dead or worse myself if I hadn’t been lucky enough to get this bit of advice that I’m about to pass on to you.
Trick to beating the black? Create something new. Doesn’t matter what. Could be anything, but it turns out if you’re putting something new out into the ’verse it makes it all the harder for the darkness to get in. It’s why I do this show. Why I decided to learn guitar and make my own music.
And before you ask, reading or watching something doesn’t count. Neither does collecting. You sit there watching a vid and you’re likely to come out the other side the same as you went in. No, the important thing here is to be able to point to something and say I made that.
Now, for the poor soul who commed me in the first place, I’d say maybe give poetry a try. “Mind crawling into the drift” is a pretty nice turn of phrase. That said, don’t hesitate to comm me or anyone else, if you need to reach out. There’s always somebody ready to listen.
And I thank you all for taking the time to listen to me. Fly safe out there.
This has been Old Jegger, signing off.