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User Journal

Journal Journal: Goodbye old flame

I said goodbye to my old flame in NH today. About eighteen years ago it was love at first sight. I was an undergrad, she was a TA. A TA with T&A, always the best kind. It might have been a flash infatuation, here today gone tomorrow, but I wound up working with her at a nearby research institution, and I just fell for her all the way. We were close friends but I never got anywhere with her. She was older and had a daddy complex, always dating much older men. I suppose I never had a chance, but ten years into being married I'm finally letting go for real. Maybe its not until your marriage hits the rocks that you realize how much baggage you're carrying around, and this is one I can't carry anymore.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Obituary to a former self

Here in mid-life the guy I used to be seems to be dying all around me every day. He's mostly dead but not buried. He was a pretty decent guy and I think its time somebody spoke up in his defense.

The guy I used to be was honest. He would answer anything you asked and always tell you the exact truth as he saw it. People hated him for that. The guy I used to be was loyal. He never cheated on his wife, or stole a dime from the company or anybody else. He worked hard and supported his family, and put his own needs aside till it hurt like hell. Then he complained a bit, but nobody cared so he just kept right on going. Everybody new he would do the "right thing" in the end, so why listen to him whine, right?

Well, he's dead now. And I have to live with his spoiled wife. I have to sit all day in his windowless office and try to do the work he used to love. Try to support his family and live up to his obligations. It can't last much longer.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Singing

Well, I started singing in a choral group. Its a lot of fun. I totally need something new and fun in life.

One night my wife came home late and found me feeling pretty low, so she tried to cheer me up by asking me to think of something good that happened that day. Unfortunately, I could think of nothing good that had happened that day. Not one good thing, other than a bunch of bad stuff that could have happened didn't. But that doesn't really count. At least not for me, not anymore.

So I'm making a great effort now to try and cause at least one good thing that gives me some joy to happen every day. It is not easy. I'm much more used to preventing bad stuff. And making good things happen always seems to incur some risk. I'm trying.

User Journal

Journal Journal: You might be an Electrical Engineer if ...

Your basement is wired for electricity, telephone, digital sattelite TV, and high-speed internet. But the wallboard isn't up yet.

I just finished the telephone wiring yesterday. The jacks are wired up, and the line is run to the box. I just have to connect it at the interface to be all done with all the wiring I'm going to do in phase 1.

Yesterday morning I also finished the two-outlet circuit which will go to the entertainment center, and wired it into the breaker box, which finally allowed me to close the box back up and make it safe for the kids to be around. Not to mention cleaning up and sweeping up a lot of debris. All in all a great day of progress on the basement project.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Yesterday may mark a change 2

Our war started on a Sunday. I think it was September 30, 2001 or whatever Sunday is closest. After over four years of fighting, the wife said enough yesterday, Oct. 10, 2005. This came days after, as recorded in the journal a few days ago, I'd decided its pointless to argue, reason, or negotiate anymore. We'll see how it goes.

I had a dream a few days ago of finding her with a male prostitute who looked almost like her brother. I gave her an ultimatum, and walked away not expecting any positive response, but feeling liberated that it was over.

Last night the dream was I was eating lunch, and took too long to finish eating, and the boat we were going to ride on left without me and my oldest daughter. Wife and youngest were on the boat and we all waved goodbye to each other.

User Journal

Journal Journal: voice of the lone cynic

After nine years I've finally realized what should have been obvious long ago. You have to let people be what they are. Some people just can't appreciate cynicism for the blessing that it is. For years I've tried, in the friendliest ways possible, to help my wife understand the absurdities and humor in human activities, and the intricate ways that organizations defeat their own purposes. But its no use. Some people just have to go along for the "big ride." And I have to let them, though it pains me sometimes.

When I was much younger, I had a best friend whom I could gripe to in full blown cynic mode, and he would not only understand but elaborate and contribute to the thoughts. We could explore alternatives, and try to poke holes in each other's schemes. It was never personal, and never taken personally. But he was a guy. A really smart guy too. That kind of fellowship is simply unavailable in my marital relationship, and I have to get over it.

I spent most of yesterday writing notes to people who typify the hypocrisy that so many people cannot see. One note to fire my analyst. One note to the principal of my daughter's school, griping about the absurd number of fundraisers, and the emotionally manipulative tactics they employ.

In other words, now when I see wrongness in the world, I have to take it straight to the source. Because sitting around with my pal and passively mocking the absurdity just isn't a viable option. And these perceptions, insights, complaints, whatever you want to call them have to come out of me in some form or another or they just seem to eat me up inside. The universe/evolution/God/whatever you want to call it gives each being something... something to take into existance and bring into being, to express in life. We are all motivated to fullfil that "mission from God." Mine just happens to be a gift most people don't want to receive. Well, we all have our challenges.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A slower pace of life

Today I'm taking some work home for the last half of the day, and all I really have to do is peruse some specifications. Its an easy day, and I really like it. It gives me a chance to breathe. I feel like I was made for a much slower pace of living than what people mostly accept as "normal" these days.

I did quite a lot of yard work over the weekend. My wife was busy with her own stuff of course, but I was kind of looking forward to her noticing and giving me some ooo's and aahh's over it. But I never called any attention to the results, and since she was gone most of the weekend she hasn't noticed yet. We're not newlyweds by any stretch, and really we've been through hell for the last few years, so I hate to admit to myself sometimes that I still want to please her. Most of what represents a true expression of myself and my beliefs does not in fact please her at all, but I still try. Maybe its because she's the woman in my life, and I love her despite all our troubles and differences. Or maybe trying to impress a woman is just the excuse I seem to need to bring out some energy and self-expression in me, even though the outcome is usually not good. For me, I've learned to take it as good. After all, something I'm happy about gets done, even if she doesn't like it. There's just this intermediate step of total psychological weirdness, where I need to feel like I'm trying to impress someone when really I'm just doing what I think is good.

Conclusion, tentatively, is that I have to do my own thing and be myself, but I'd really like to have it appreciated. In the current relationship, it often isn't but sometimes is, so its worth a try.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hamster captured. Recovering nicely. 2

She was tired. She was dazed. Buy our youngest found her in back of the hamper after two days missing. All pets safe and accounted for.

Very difficult day for my wife today. (Which means a difficult evening for me of course).

For my part, I got a stock option grant today. Not much to cheer about. Two years to even get the first actual vesting, and it is much much less than the initial block I got when I hired in. Don't really plan on staying in the job long enough to get any of that vested at this point.

I watched "The King of Masks" Yesterday. Interesting movie about traditions and sexism in China.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hamster Escape

The hamster has escaped. And we have a dog in the house. This could get ugly. So far the dog has not shown any signs of hearing or smelling the hamster. We looked for almost an hour before giving up and letting the dog out of his crate. Now I have grave concerns for the hamsters destiny. Will the first sign of the hamster be pathetic little bones emerging from the dog's anus? Or will we notice a bad smell in part of the closet a week or two from now?

I'm still hopeful that she is just sleeping somewhere, curled up safely in a shoe waiting for nightfall to start running around again.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Family Matters

My grandmother, age 93, fell down and broke her hip on Saturday night. She had been living on her own and in pretty good health overall. I flew up there with two other family members on Monday morning to be with her for her surgery. They did not need to replace the hip, just pinned it back together. She came through fine, and will be starting physical therapy very soon.

Grandma, or "Nana" as we all call her, was pretty disoriented after the operation because of the anesthesia. She recognized me right away, and wanted to know what I was doing there, even though I'd seen her for several hours before the surgery. We had to explain to her where she was and what had happened all over again. Then when we went to leave for the night, she wanted to know why she couldn't go home too! "You just had surgery, Nana. You're on oxygen and you have an IV in your arm." It sounded like she was senile, but she's not; it was just the drugs. The next day, she was fully aware of the situation again.

I also saw my cousin, who's turned out to be a very pretty woman. She's having trouble with her husband of 6 years and they may separate. It seems like everyone's marriage sucks who's willing to talk about it. At least I'm not the only one. My wife is out of town on a "retreat" right now. On one of the busiest weeks of the year. She's piled our schedule high with crap, then she takes off.... jeez. The kids and I blew off several scheduled activities today. They did't want to go and I didn't want to take them. So there! We had a good time. If wifey wants to rule our world, she has to be around to do it. I know she means well. She's signed the kids up for so much stuff because it makes her feel like a good mother somehow. I hope she learns other ways to make herself feel better ... soon.


Journal Journal: Baby blanket to laptop, trading up

My oldest daughter is 7, turning 8 soon. She's quite attached to her blanket. Just never got around to giving it up, and its a comfort to her so I never forced the issue. Time flew by, and now its getting a little funny that she still has it. Not like she carries it around all day or anthing, but she likes to have it with her when she goes to sleep.

So since 8 is a big birthday for anyone, and she's going to have to let go of that blanket before it literally falls apart, we decided to get her a super nice birthday present. We went to CompUSA today and picked out a nice laptop for her. She needs the extra space on her desk anyway, and the old desktop she had has died and cannot be revived without a new hard drive. So its a good thing to do.

I'm in the "less is more" phase of life so its suits me fine. A laptop is less space, less power, less wires hanging around, and less weight to carry if you need to re-arrange things. It makes the desk space more versatile.

I also made an exception to the personal rule I have about not buying extended warranties. I think this machine is way more likely to be abused and/or destroyed than most, just because it belongs to a wild child.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Life in a shipping container 3

I've been occupied with a strange fantasy this morning. I want to run away and live in a shipping conatainer. I have many details worked out. I would buy some land in a low tax area. Then dig out a trench and have the container shipped in. Add a septic system. A rainwater collection tank provides running water for washing and flushing, but I would only drink bottled water. Power would be a 12V solar system with an inverter. 4 Panels and an inverter for the AC applications. Lights would be 12V DC similar to RV lighting. Refrigeration would be propane, again using RV technology.

Basically I want the safety of a solid metal structure, but the lifestyle of a parked RV. I might even put wheels on the thing and call it a travel trailer, just to keep the taxes lower. Although you loose your search and siezure protection when you do that, so I'd have to decide how much money I'm willing to pay for that particular constitutional right. Given the current state of affiars, there isn't any assurance that my rights will be protected anyway, so why bother?

So I spent the first hours of the morning thinking about how to do my climate control, and whether to just have an outhouse instead of plumbing. Perhaps the story about Diogenes I read recently is inspiring me too much, but its not the first time I've had thoughts along these lines.

The funny thing is I have a nice house that I love, and a family, and good job, everything I ought to want and need. Why am I obsessed with throwing it all away? Best theory so far is that my own genes have decided to wreck my family to enhance their chances of getting replicated again, since my wife and I don't want to have any more kids together. Maybe a better theory, although not mutually exclusive, is I just want more time alone, or I just want a simpler life than this suburban treadmill. Yeah, I like that theory better. It doesn't make me feel so rotten about myself.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hard disk emotional convergance

I noticed my mood lifted a few notches after I got my second OS back up and running on the dual-boot machine. Although I not a big MS fan, I really feel better now that its working again. So that raises an interesting question in my mind, which is : Does the state of our hard drive influence our emotional well being, in ways other that the obvious?

Now granted I was a little bummed when Win98 first died on me, but I thought I had long since gotten over it. Re-formatting and re-loading it didn't really get me anywhere except the potential to play different games if I get some time, yet I am irrationally joyful about it. So I wonder if a few hours spent re-organizing my file system might enhance my mood further.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Nostalgia

I was just thinking back on a wierd phone call I got about a year ago. Some guy that obviously knew who I was was asking directions to somewhere, I wasn't quite sure where. I couldn't make out a lot of what he was saying, and he was acting pretty strange. I just now clued in it was probably someone I knew from high-school who was drunk as hell and looked me up.

I was a jerk in high school. I guess most nerds are. Must be some side effect of social rejection. (hint: nerdism was not cool in the early 80's.) Strange how I still think about people I knew back them, and they pop up in dreams sometimes. I suppose I'm not the only one who does, judging by the drunken phone call.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Just get a dog!

Wow, I finally got a MonopolySoft OS running again on my dual-boot desktop machine, hoping to play some computer RPG games for the first time in years. Then the wife comes in and is talking about our kid's teacher and how she must have post-partum depression, and that gets us onto her meltdown of several years ago (which is why I haven't done any serious gaming BTW) and how she just can't understand why being in a loveless marriage is a problem for me. Jeez, now I remember why we stopped talking. I had to use the dog as a teching example on how to effectively express love. Guys, when any chick asks why you don't just get a dog, stop and give it some serious thought.

Artistic image of the day is a cliff climber going sideways across the cliff, his ropes horizontal instead of vertical, gravity parallel to the horizon. Wierd image that came to me in a dream-like state of depression.

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