Day 78: Interstate Tour 2018
Though it had been forecast to rain all week, nary a drop had landed in the time since I arrived at White Birch Campground in Whately, Massachusetts. That’s all good - there was plenty to do and WiFi to be had - but it’d been a while since I had a decent bike ride and my gorging at the Webster’s Fish Hook trough had served as a blunt reminder that every good scarfing should be followed by a rigorous workout. As I prepped to depart, a mental Post-It note in blazing yellow was added to my list of things to accomplish in the next few days: FIND BIKE TRAIL.
Before I left, I recorded and uploaded a new track for The Improv Files on Patreon. I named it “Nestled In The Bosom Of Pioneer Valley” and if it sounds dreamy, lovely and peaceful, you’ll get an idea of how the song turned out. Must’ve had something to do with the location!
Now, however, my attention turned to editing. Driving back down to Northampton, I found no WiFi love at the Walmart, continued trolling through a shopping center and finally ended up at McDonald’s. The last McD’s I went to had sucky WiFi but this one had a savage flow and, after ascertaining this, I set the upload for Dulcimerica, went inside and got a small order of fries and an Iced Caramel Macchiatto to enjoy while I worked.
Finished editing The Drone Zone segment and uploaded it for my patrons on Patreon while answering e-mail and getting fairly caught up. Once that was done, I circled back around to Walmart, picked up some items, added water to the coach batteries and oil to the generator, then settled in for the evening, checking routes, planning the final stretch of tour and searching for biking opportunities. The Valley Trail, near Wilmington, Vermont, close to my next gig, looked promising, but rain has been forecast for the next three days.
Meanwhile, here in Northampton, there was a small 10-mile network of Rails-To-Trails paths that would get the job done. That is, if I had enough time. With 90 minutes of travel time to Dover and a 3 pm call, I’d need to have all the morning routine completed pretty early if I wanted to enjoy a stress-free ride.
I printed out my resource materials for August Dulcimer Daze so I wouldn’t have to do it later. Feeling pretty accomplished, I shut down “work” work and checked out. Played some Boggle With Friends with Jae and then watched two episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix. As an entertainer who runs his own business, I can heartily attest to the need for just sitting back and enjoying somebody else’s creativity. It’s go-Go-GO 24/7, and I enjoy it, but I also like switching out of that mode and going into a more passive place, even if it’s dystopian, depressing and hypercritical of our 21st century lifestyle. I don’t watch programs on a regular basis - just the occasional tap in and tap out on a show, and Black Mirror has been a go-to for me since I first learned about it. It’s fabulous, but, WOW, it doesn’t pull any punches.
Back in 2015, I wrote a blog about cutting back overall on social media, but mostly Facebook. The idea was to focus my attention on producing music and video for Patreon and linking to it directly instead of creating stand-alone posts for social media, giving them free content (and sneakily attributed rights to media that YOU created - have you ever read the TOS for some of these services?)
I don't know what's going to replace Facebook, but it's gonna lose popular favor at some point and there will be another hot new platform that folks will sign up for (not reading the TOS), link up to and enjoy for a while before the next one comes along. What's consistent in this experience are the people who use it. No matter what the technology presents or how advanced the software and interfaces get, we'll all still be the people we are, doing the things that we do, and that's the most fascinating part. Take away the internet, and you just have to try a little harder to have those exchanges.
That's a far better thing on which to reflect, rather than the bleak denouement of Black Mirror. As always, I'll aim for glass half full.