Twenty Eleven, Thirty.

What a year

this has been. The last of my twenties.

From the first

few

hacks

onward,

I knew it would be something special. I felt it in my bones. I was ready for it.

But I couldn’t know how well it would go.

Or what it would look like, when I tried it.

I wouldn’t have believed you, had you told me, there’d be midnight rides from Ocotal to Managua;

daylight runs in the Hilux, Nicaraguan electronics shops.

No one told me I’d be soldering on mountaintops,

or leaving such great people behind.

or how it would leave me. What it would teach me.

Or that I’d go down to the swamp right after

with a system we built

together

to record

the last

gasp

of a dream.

This was the year of shadows, dust and sun.

of darkness, pine, and starlight.

of music,

wire,

and welding

of argon, steel, and

sparks.

of acetone

ozone

and salt

This was a year of press

and pressure.

This was the year the flood came

and went

and took my

Droid with it.

This year, I left you. And so

This year, I missed you. Like I missed you every other year.

Thank gods I got to spend time with you, my personal heroes and your libraries

heroines

partners

comrades

friends

and inspirations.

Thanks for making things with me.

For soldering with me.

For keeping track.

For getting it.

For taking me underground – not pictured.

For taking things further

and further

Than I ever could, alone.

This year, I built

machines

to build

machines.

I moved across California twice.

I slept in my truck ten or twenty times.

I saw, for myself, disorder

canaries in coal mines,

sick systems. I did stupid things

Smart people were in on it, much of it was for the better.

I did crazy things –
like field stripping laser TVs in NYC

like making buildings

into cameras

like making new things

from old things

Always hacking something from nothing

Sometimes roasting pigs in the ground

I built crazy things –
laser folding mirrors

illumination systems

optical tricks and traps

massive arrays

faked communication protocols

hacked my own truck.

I felt

the value

of comraderie;

I learned the wisdom in getting out,

in ending early. Cutting losses.

and I left.

And in the strange days that followed, I found a home.

Gonna park my whirlwind there for a while.

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8 Responses to Twenty Eleven, Thirty.

  1. Rod Reetz says:

    Fantastic coverage of a fantastic year in the life of our own family hero. This is amazing Dan.

  2. Cec Reetz says:

    You are an amazing young man in this amazing world-it is a pleasure to watch your life!

  3. Sue says:

    You have become a delightfully dangerous man.

  4. Mario says:

    It was a delightful pleasure to have crossed paths.

  5. Max says:

    Looks like you had an awesome year. Inspiring.

    I hope my studies ending in 2012 will allow me to go on some new adventures with you.

  6. K says:

    friends, now cyberspace. 🙂 thank you for sharing.

  7. Hannah says:

    Amazing! Did i really know you? This all just amazing!!!! Still think of you often and all the thoughts you and bryan leaked into my brain….

  8. danreetz says:

    We definitely knew each other. Glad you found me again (I’ve maintained this site since we knew each other- goes way back). It was a blast being in Art School with you Hannah. And what times those were. Heady! Have you seen Bryan since we graduated? I haven’t. Bad. I miss him.

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