So, I forgot to previously mention in this journal that last weekend some friends and I went to the ACP Swapmeet. These weren't just any friends, they were feedle, Technopagan, and AJ (Two's Compliment). I do not get to see these guys much anymore. Feedle lives in Phoenix, but is starting to waffle back and forth between here and there, with an eye to move back here. Technopagan does live in SoCal, but way up in BFE Cow Town. AJ does not live too far away, but has a wife and seems to always be busy. Plus, he actively tries to NOT be connected–no cell phone, no instant messaging, email at work only, etc. Anyway, they are all great guys (well, Technopagan can be a bit intense at times, but that's just the way Dave is) and we had a ton of fun. AJ and I were reminiscing on all sorts of things–we had not seen one other in years and we had not attended the ACP Swap since about high school.
The ACP Swapmeet, by the way, is the local once-every-two-months computer swap meet. It started out years ago in the parking stalls in front of a hole-in-the-wall computer store in a complex that looks like a combination of a business park and a strip mall. They eventually grew larger, swallowing up the parking stalls of the businesses on either side. The last time I had gone, about 10 years ago, it covered all of the neighboring businesses' parking stalls and wrapped around the side of the building. This time, it pretty much took up the whole complex. And boy, how it had changed, yet remained exactly the same.
The ACP Swap is not a “professional” swapmeet. There always are a couple of businesses, but for the most part it is people selling large amounts of crap. While a lot of the crap was much more modern than 10 years ago, a lot of it was the exact same crap. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to put electronic locator tags on various pieces of equipment, then track the migration from the swapmeet to somebody's house, then eventually back to the swapmeet again. Missing were the giant bricks of 3.5″ floppy disks and floppy-punches that turn your 720K disk into 1.44M. New were the gigantic spindles of generic black CDs baking in the sun. Missing were large numbers of AT cases and motherboards (although they were still present, just not in mass). New were the stacks and stacks of old laptops.
There were too many people for such a small area. As AJ pointed out, it felt like a scene in Blade Runner–like pushing past people in a future LA Chinatown, pressing past the stalls selling black market hardware and freshly grown eyeballs in Erlenmeyer flasks, trying to get to the noodle booth.
It kind of surprised me that there was a lot more porn. Or maybe it did not surprise me, come to think of it. Anyway, the pr0n count went from zero to just about every booth having a small collection of pr0n software, at the front of the booth, with nobody really minding it–protecting it from the little sweaty grasping hands of children, as it were. There was even a booth completely wrapped in tarp, with a little flap of a door that proclaimed adult entertainment was to be found within. To top it all off, there was a large number of creechy, balding, forty-something men around, being creechy. Lady at booth: “Let me know if I can get you anything.” Loud creechy man: “Yeah, babe, how 'bout a kiss!” (turning to his friends, and laughing at the level of creech he attained, outcreeching his friends).
On an unrelated note, my phone got dropped and the screen is smashed. I guess I will find out today what the extra $2/month in phone insurance is worth.